The fact that the Cayman Islands
has an entrant in the Winter Olympics in Vancouver is a constant source of
interest to many.
Dow Travers competes in the giant
slalom on Tuesday and the immense media
attention has increased expectations on the 22-year-old student to do well. He
is handling it admirably but it is a lot of pressure for a novice really just
intent on getting some top level experience under his belt. He was supposed to
compete on Sunday but the programme has been put back because the mild weather
has melted the snow. Organisers are hoping for colder weather but the forecast
is not good.
Travers has a great support team in
his coach Gene Bridgewater and Chef de Mission David Carmichael who live with
him in the Athletes Village about 10 miles away from Whistler where most of the
events are held. There’s also the Cayman Islands President Donald McLean and
Secretary General Carson Ebanks who for years have done a great job
representing the Cayman Islands at all major competitions. McLean was an
Olympic sailor for Cayman so knows exactly what it takes to compete at the
highest level. So too does Carson who is a three-time Olympian and the first
person to represent Cayman in the Olympics.
Dow has also received tremendous
financial and emotional support from his family, dad Anthony and mum Mary-Anne.
Dow is the eldest of three skiing brothers. There’s also Dillon, 18 and Dean,
13. Jerry Beck, the millionaire computer wizard who owns a house in Whistler,
is here with a group of friends to cheer Travers on and many Cayman residents
are arriving by the day.
At the Athletes Village, Dow has
access to the best physios, dental treatment and other medical facilities, so
it is evident that even though he will be hurtling down the slopes alone, there
is a huge team behind him ensuring that he is as best prepared as possible for
the big day.