(ZIZ News) — It was a hero’s welcome for CARIFTA athletes at the RLB International Airport on Tuesday as government and sport officials hosted a ceremony to greet the teenage track stars.
Jermaine Francis, Tah-J Liburd, Dimetre Browne, and Leroy Chapman represented the federation at the CARIFTA Games last weekend in Grenada.
Francis brought home a gold medal in the Under 20 Male High Jump Competition.
Among the dignitaries present to welcome the athletes was President of the St. Kitts Nevis Olympic Committee, Alphonso Bridgewater who called Francis an inspiration.
“You have inspired the rest of your teammates. You’ve inspired a whole island in Nevis. And you’ve inspired a whole Federation in St. Kitts and Nevis in what you do. From here on they’ll be talking about you as one of the only people to have won a gold medal for St. Kitts and Nevis at CARIFTA Games. That’s no mean feat,” he said.
Minister of Sport, The Hon Shawn Richards brought commendations from the government and noted that while Francis brought home gold, all of the athletes should be proud of their performances.
“From all of the athletes who would have participated in the recently concluded Inter-High School Championships the four of you were able to successfully represent St. Kitts and Nevis at the CARIFTA Games. That of course is a major accomplishment and I don’t want you to take that lightly,” he said.
Francis spoke of his experience in Grenada including the point where he started to doubt himself.
“During the competition I was feeling a little down I wasn’t sure if I could fulfil my dream of winning. So I went to my coach and she gave me a little pep talk. I tried my best and on my last attempt I gave it my all and I realized I made it,” he said.
28 countries took part in the 2016 CARIFTA Games. St. Kitts and Nevis placed ninth.