Today's Date: 26 June 2016
Last Updated: 11 January 2016 17:07:40 EST
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Dow ready to take on slopes

VANCOUVER - When Dow Travers competes for the Cayman Islands in the giant slalom at the Winter Games in Vancouver it will be a triumph of sorts just to be competing against skiers who were born on slopes and not a flat Caribbean island. 

Travers has been competing seriously since he was 14 and on Sunday the culmination of all that dedication will nicely dovetail in the ultimate challenge in the supreme tournament against the world’s best.

His coach Gene Bridgewater has honed Travers into excellent shape and the 22-year-old Brown University student is raring to go, despite a long-term ankle injury. The mild weather in Whistler, where most of the events are being held, has badly disrupted the programme and thwarted practicing on the slopes. Monday was the first day of a resumed programme thanks to overnight colder weather.

“We got out last week and did some free skiing to compensate,” Bridgewater said. “We worked out some drills there. We just got on the training course today due to the colder weather and we got six good runs in. And we’re ready to keep on doing that for the rest of the week going into Sunday. His ankle is bearing up. We’re doing physio every afternoon to ensure there’s no problem with swelling.”

Bridgewater is originally from Boulder, Colorado, and now lives in Aspen. The American wears the Cayman Olympic gear with pride as an adopted son. He gets a lot of double takes as Cayman having a ski team seems about as likely to locals as them producing an Olympic hockey team. “Where’s the Cayman Islands, they ask,” laughs Bridgewater. “Also, Cayman pins are a very hot commodity.” Bridgewater had the pleasure of visiting Cayman once, when his sister was married there, in Smith Cove.

“I’m feeling good,” said an upbeat Travers. “We’re just doing our last few days of training. Obviously, we were a little bit bogged down by the weather but now we’re beginning to get into the rhythm of it just coming up into the competition.

“The ankle is a little sore but we’re making sure we’re doing lots of physio every day to ensure there’s no ill effects from it. I just hope to do the best I can and make Cayman proud. The majority of Caymanians seem to be pretty excited at having someone in the Olympics.

“It was great to have McKeeva Bush and Mark Scotland at the opening ceremony. I didn’t actually see Mr. Bush but did have lunch with Mark the other day.”

Travers had tickets to watch the men’s downhill on Monday but couldn’t attend because training came first. He also loves the bobsled and many alpine events. But right now, those two runs this weekend are his primary focus.
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