Opening ceremony and first event at Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games

BVI swimmer, Elinah Phillip (50m free & 50m fly) and Malik John (400m) at Buenos Aires 2018. Photo credit: BVIOC

Swimmer, Elinah Phillip was the face of the Virgin Islands when she served as flagbearer in the Opening Ceremony on October 6 at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She also was the first of the two VI athletes to compete in the third edition of the Games when she swam in the 50m butterfly (fly) heats on Tuesday, October 9.

Swimming in heat 5, Phillip touched the wall in a non-advancing time of 28.65 placing her 28/36. Her PB and national record of 27.31 in the 50m fly was achieved just 10 days previously at the FINA Swimming World Cup 2018 in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Phillip, who was slated to compete in the 100m freestyle (free) on Monday was advised by her coach, Benoit Grattepanche to omit the race from her schedule and concentrate instead on the 50m fly and 50m free. The decision was made following a technical meeting ahead of the event.

Her next race is heat 5 of 7 of the 50m free which will start at 10:30am (9:30am BVI time) on Thursday, October 11. Phillip’s qualifying time for this event is 26.14.

VI track athlete, Malik John will also be competing on Thursday, October 11 when he runs in the 400m heats at 5.15pm (4.15pm BVI time).

The events can be viewed live on the IOC Olympic Channel.

The athletes continue to be fully immersed in the culture and experience of the Youth Olympic Games as they follow Young Change Maker, Keanu George’s recommendations of activities to enjoy and international athletes to meet. George has been trained to facilitate the VI’s athletes’ participation in “learn & share” activities and encourages them to embrace the YOG spirit of Compete, Learn and Share.

“There is a packed agenda of daily events and activities for the athletes to be a part of,” said Cleave Farrington, Chef de Mission, Buenos Aires 2018. “Working with Keanu, I try to ensure that Elinah and Malik make the most of their time at the Youth Olympic Games, which is much more oriented to facilitating the principles of Olympism for their age group than the Olympic Games which is geared towards older and more experienced athletes. I am pleased to report that the athletes are definitely engaged and appreciating all that is on offer.”

Photos and updates are posted regularly on the BVI Olympic Committee’s social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Keanu George selected to Youth Change Makers (YCM) Programme

Mr. Keanu George of the Valley, Virgin Gorda was selected as one of the 80 Youth Change Makers (YCM) from across the globe for the 3rd Youth Olympic Games (YOG) to be held in Buenos Aires in 2018.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) launched the Youth Change-Makers (YCM) programme (previously Young Ambassadors Programme) for the 3rd Youth Olympic Games (YOG) to be held in Buenos Aires in 2018.

The BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC) nominated Mr. Keanu George of the Valley, Virgin Gorda who was selected as one of the 80 Youth Change Makers (YCM) from across the globe. This is the first time someone from the BVI has been selected.

Mr. George will be part of the BVI’s delegation at the 3rd Youth Olympic Games and will be empowered to motivate and inspire our YOG athletes and ensure that they get the most out of their YOG journey.

Pre-Games, Mr. George will help promote the YOG and its values and inform the athletes about the Learn & Share activities. During Games time, he will actively facilitate the BVI’s athletes’ participation in these activities and encourage them to truly experience the YOG spirit of Compete, Learn and Share.

Post-Games, all Young Change Makers will be invited to remain engaged and actively involved with the IOC and National Olympic Committees (NOC) in promoting sport, the Olympic values and the YOG spirit.

Mr. George is a graduate of the Bregado Flax High School with Honors. He obtained an Associate Degree in Computer, Graphic Information Technology at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC). He was an athlete of the Raw Skillz Track Club of Virgin Gorda and presently works at the Wright Choice Canteen as a Manager.

In his response after learning he had been selected as a YCM, Mr. George said, “I am very honored to be selected as the YCM at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games and humbled because this will be a life changing experience. The experience I gain will be used to encourage others to do their best and go after their goals. I hope to learn as much as possible and use that to inspire others to be the best that they can be”.

Ephraim Penn, President of the British Virgin Islands Olympic Committee congratulated Keanu on his accomplishment of being selected as a Youth Change Maker. He stated, “I have no doubt that he will do his best and most importantly come back to the Territory and continue to help with the youth in development of sport in the Territory.”

The Youth Olympic Games will take place October 6 – 18, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

About the Youth Change Maker
The Young Change-Makers (YCM) Programme aims to empower young people and support them to become Change-Makers in their community, using sport for a better world. The IOC aims to create an ongoing and long-term engagement with these young talents beyond the YOG in October 2018, through regular opportunities to get active and to contribute.