Today's Date: 01 July 2016
Last Updated: 11 January 2016 17:07:40 EST
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Caymanians invade the Games

Back, from left: Warren Urquhart, Matthew Walker, Carey Tasker, Richard Sawle-Thomas, Jerry Beck. Front: Josh Brown, Richard Marian, Karen Hart. Missing from picture: Nick Sellars.

The fact that Dow Travers is competing for the Cayman Islands in the Winter Olympics has not been lost by many admirers back home.

Cayman residents have been arriving in the Canadian ski resort of Whistler, 80 miles north of Vancouver, all week to show their support for the 22-year-old Caymanian who competes in the giant slalom on Tuesday.

Annoyingly for some they won’t get to see Travers in action because his event was initially scheduled for Sunday but has been rescheduled. The postponement is the result of uneven snowfall (20 centimetres at the top of the course and 10 cm at the finish area) resulting in course conditions that are too soft for competition. A consistent track is necessary for optimal and safe racing so the decision was taken by the International Ski Federation on Tuesday to postpone the races.

Computer entrepreneur Jerry Beck owns a house in Whistler. A keen skier, he spends a big chunk of his holiday time there. Beck is hosting eight friends from Cayman, all keen on local sports, mainly tennis, rugby and cricket for Greenies. 

Beck said: “We’re here to support Dow in the Olympics. Unfortunately, all of us will have to leave before he competes because we’ve been screwed by the weather. We’re going to try to get to see him before we go though.”

Beck first visited Whistler seven years ago, three months after Canada was awarded the Olympics and he’s seen the buzz increase to crescendo levels ever since. But not all residents of the Olympic venues were excited.

Beck added: “I think most people in Whistler have stayed but many in Vancouver have left. But it’s meant it’s pretty empty so it’s nice to go up there and ski and see the Olympians practicing. As you walk around the village the atmosphere is absolutely incredible.

“From the day it was announced, everyone has wondered what the weather would be like. February is normally cold and dry, which is why they chose it. But the organisers, the Cayman Islands supporters club raises their hats to them to get it to go ahead. It’s a shame we’re going to miss Dow but we’re still doing our best to support him.

“We’re still having a lot of fun supporting him and pretty much keeping the nightclubs going judging by the amount we’re drinking. We want to give a big shout out to the Blaster, which has become our drink of choice and we’re trying to get everyone to drink them.”

Matthew ‘Texas’ Walker is not normally known as a drinker but so as not to feel left out he is downing the ‘sauce’ as fast as the others. He said: “It’s great being here and having fun in a great atmosphere. We’ve done a lot of bad skiing. A few tumbles, a bit sore but still battling away. This is my first time in Whistler and I’m loving it. We’ve seen the luge so far and got two other events to see, the bob sled and women’s downhill. It’s awesome.

“We won’t be able to see Dow, sadly, because we’ve got to leave, but it’s great that Cayman has been put on the map. Awesome.”

Karen Hart plays rugby and cricket for the Greenies women’s team. She said: “This is my first time in Whistler and I love it. The snow is awesome. I snowboard, sort of. It’s fantastic that Dow is skiing for Cayman. I’ve also seen him play rugby for Cayman, he’s a very talented young man.”

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