Fittingly, as becomes the sacrament , our Olympic baptism was effected by immersion of one of our athletes in the Olympic pool. Woody Lawrence made the splash he had hoped for with rather devout fervour. He went in and won his race, giving the Dominican contingent a spark of encouragement.
You may argue it was a swim by the smaller fishes but a win is a win all the same. Woody Lawrence touched home ahead of the competition in that men's 50 metres freestyle race and that is what significantly matters. The time of 27.44 seconds was not enough to take our man further. However, it should signal a strong shower of confidence to Dominica's young swimmers. What Woody has done they must in turn be able to do better in future.
That is how Woody wants it and no less. He had been all along nursing a very troublesome shoulder injury before he left Dominica for Atlanta. Cause indeed for serious concern! But if you know the guy, it would take more than two bad shoulders, two bad legs, a bad back and a bad neck to keep him from making this start.
Make it he did, and it was not just for himself. It was for Dominica and for the coming generation of our young swimmers. He had proved to all Dominicans that his swim from near Portsmouth to Canefield near Roseau was a scared mission, demonstrating amply that giving up is not part of his equation in making a useful statement. It need not be stressed as to the core content of that statement - the need for a swimming pool to be constructed for the benefit of the active youth of Dominica.
I say "bravo Woody" I say "bravo to the Dominica Swimming Association and its instructors and young swimmers" - all of whom have persevered untiringly despite the strong tide of apathy on the part of many who should know better. I say "bravo" to all the parents of our young swimmers who are staking their confidence in Dominica's future at the subsequent Olympic games. Woody did not let you down. He did not let all of us down. Like all of our other athletes, he made heavy sacrifices to get to Atlanta. It is up to the rest of us to respond in kind.
Our main hope for an Olympic medal was, of course none other than Jerome Romain, That he was unable to do himself justice is one of those things that happen even to the very best world best athletes. The very poignant memory for me remains that vivid picture of Jeremy poised to give the triple jump his best shot; and too, the stirringly electrifying sprint he summoned in a do or die effort to push back the crippling pain he was feeling from a badly injured knee.
He was banking on the velocity of his approach giving him the wings needed to cancel out the inhibitions of the agony of near dismemberment. All he needed was a decent take off. Everyone held his breath, knowing one good jump in the finals would be as good as a medal. But the man who had a year ago become very credible medal material was simply unable to lift a burden to cumbersome for a mere mortal to carry.
The triple jump may well be the least likely pursuit in athletics to accommodate a badly injured knee joint. In this event you must land three times on one leg , and on hard ground at that, before reaching the landing pit. The trauma of the full body weight coming down on the injured limb is an unenviable proposition to say the least.
That Jerome Roman even thought of trying against all the odds must be regarded as utter undisguised heroism. It would have been a miracle if he had managed to succeed, given the nature if his sheer physical disability. Let us be proud of him that he was able to make the qualifying distance of 16 metres. Let us be equally thankful that at 25 years old he stills has a chance to become good and better in four years time in Sydney, Australia, the site of the next Olympic Games.
What the full nature of the medical probes will reveal, according to our team doctor Wilbour Kelsick, is left to be seen. He is not taking any chances and hopes very shortly to come up with a considered opinion from one of the best specialists there is in the treatment of knee injuries in sports. Meanwhile, lets keep or fingers crossed and pray that Jerome will recover fully, whether it entails surgery or other wise. The Dominican community should wholeheartedly come forward if it comes to the requirement to defray the cost of the surgery..
Without doubt, the very most encouraging development of the games from the Dominica angle was the performance of Dawn Williams. Her efforts in the heats speaks volumes for her resolve and tenacity of purpose. Twice she to recover from a very adverse position to come back into contention and managed to finish strongly in third place while the leaders were flagging. In fact all three first places were credited with under two minutes.
Though Dawn managed to even improve on her time in the semi-final, I was of the view that it was a lack of being seasoned at the highest level that prevented her from making it to the finals. She had also fully recovered from the exertions of so hard a race, and reasonable speculation is that an extra day's rest would have been fully to her advantage.
Anyway, she is young (only 22) and her achievement has set a totally new horizon for Dominica's female middle distance runners, I see her as the rest of the discerning world sees her - gold medal material in the making! A very exhilarating prospect, tempered albeit by news of her wedding in September. We all wish her well, and, if she so chooses, she can carry the ambition that other have done before her to obtain gold on the track after passing through the portals of matrimony. For my part I wish she gives it a good try. She can have the world at her feet.
Our three remaining athletes did not manage to reach their own individual expectations. Hermine Joseph faltered after being in contention in her 100 metres heat. A good sixty metres lost momentum thereafter. I feel Hermine can do better than she did and she will bounce back maybe even much better than before. The factors for a good sprint race are measured in micro-microns on a knife's edge. Not only physical factors came into place. the psychological ones are just as important. Time can always tell a different story.
Stephen Agar held out for two laps in the 1500 metres but faded for the next one and three quarter laps. He is certain to benefit from the knowledge that pace only increases from fast to faster at this level in this day and age.
Less favoured by years, Cedric Harris would wish for a return of his 800 metres race, considering that he never really got into the tempo of things. On balance, I would say that Agar had good prospect for the 1500 metres in terms of the physique optimally suited to the event. For Harris there may be some merit in going up to the 1500 metres or possibly the 5000 metres, if the expected progression with age cement itself into the general reckoning.
Taking all into consideration, one would say that our baptism into the Olympic games was a little painful but all the same very encouraging and should bear fruit for the future. I offer compliments to the Dominica Amateur Association and the Dominica Swimming Association for being faithful to the Olympic spirit. To all our other sports associations I say it is your turn to work assiduously to be in a position to grasp opportunity.
Let me thank the Dominicans in Atlanta for making the team feel very welcome. And I lift my hat to Curtis Matthew for making it known we were at the games. Equally I say a big thank you to the Government of Dominica and other bodies who sponsored Dominica's participation in the Olympic games.
Felix Wilson, Chef de Mission of Dominica's delegation at the 1996 Atlanta Games, describes the Dominican athletes' performance at the centennial Games as phenomenal.
Wilson, who arrived here Friday with one athlete and four other officials, said Dominica will do better in other Olympic Games despite failing to take home a medal in the July 19 to August 4 event.
''It was significant in terms of our history. We've attended now our first Olympic Games and hopefully we'll do better in other Olympic Games'' Wilson noted.
''We did not get medals which is what persons will be concerned with, but that is not the issue, we've been there, we're well received we did our country proud and the evidence is there from the reception that we got from the persons from Atlanta and the world who saw us,'' he added.
Fifty-metres freestyle swimmer, Woody Lawrence, was the only athlete who arrived here with the contingent. Another Dominican Olympic athlete, Cedric Harris, returned home earlier this week.
The four other athletes who represented remained in the United States where they are based.
Triple Jumper Jerome Romain, 800 metres runner Dawn Williams, 1500 runner Stephen Agar and sprinter Hermin Joseph were member of Dominica's team which made its debut at the 26th Olympiad in Atlanta......Story by Paul Charles
Flowers For An Unsung Hero
DBS' Chief Sports reporter with the Dominican Athletes at the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, has coming in for praise from the Independent newspaper in its Wednesday edition of 31 July.
The writer, nick-named, Mango Slade, in his weekly column, under the heading "And So It Goes" says this about the DBS sports Writer and Presenter. His heading for the article is, "Flowers for an unsung hero."
"Curtis Matthew is far and away the best sports reporter in the history of radio in Dominica. He has been the quiet, unassuming holder of that distinction for some time now and if he stays on course, then there is no doubt that the best is yet to come.
I offer my flowers now for fear of having to join a long queue if I am still around when he is eventually called to the great beyond.
At a time when sports reporting was considered the soft underbelly of the new invariably assigned to the lesser mortals of the news room until they could prove themselves worthy of higher responsibility. Curtis saw an opportunity to make a difference. Sports to him was no side show of the regular newsz package. It was serious business and he treated it as such.
Today the depth and scope of sports coverage across Dominica has much to teach the news producers themselves about meeting the information needs of the community that they serve. It's an impressive achievement that has emerged from the vision, determination and creative energy of a young man who has a relentlessly forced doors opened in search of opportunities to expand radio courage of sporting events in the national interest.
Fittingly, as Dominica competes in its inaugural visit to the Olympics games now being staged in Atlanta, the privileged task of reporting on the passage of this exciting piece of history has fallen in the very capable hand of Curtis Matthew.
With every passing day he treats us to comprehensive and colourful accounts of what's happening mainly to our Dominicans and Caribbean athletes. But the big picture never eludes him, not withstanding the sharp focus he is required to place on the regional interest. As a result there is that constant reminder of our part in the text of the whole.
For all those who have sinned and come short of the glory of fair, unbiased reporting. I wish to point their attention to the Curtis Matthew example of quality reporting from a challenging environment in which the tendency to self interest in reckless disregard of what fair is perhaps the most compelling force. Somehow, Curtis found a way to stay clear of its numbing influence and in so doing remained free to deliver excellence. And he did.
It's the kind of achievement we should be upholding for its tremendous success as an exercise in professional broadcast conduct of the highest order. But we are too busy taking inventory of non existent second General Manager at DBS and media practitioners who move to greener pastures overseas for whatever reason.
So the acts of pure class and the genuine success stories come and go leaving us mired in the ugly pastime of shooting messenger."
Curtis will return home on Thursday 8th August, with the Olympic athletes and offical.
Dominica's chances to have a medal at the Centennial Olympic Games, ended on Monday 29th, when the final athlete to take part in an event, failed to qualify in the first round of the 1500 meters race. Steven Agar, the 1500 meters runner, running in the first heat of the day, fought hard to be in the first four. He trailed for a short while before making his surge. And for a long time he stayed with the top four, but with 200 meters to go, Agar began to fade away and finished in 8th position from eleven in his group.
Agar's time was 3 minutes 43.02 seconds, that placed him number 46 overall from 60 runners. The top 24 times went to the next round of the 1500 meters race.
Speaking to Curtis Mathew, the 27-year-old Steven Agar said, it was the top four to qualify - the four fastest times, "wanted to be in the four top through the race. And with the last lap to go, I was there in a good position...and in the last 300 meters, I started to fade a bit and they pulled away from me," said Agar.
The over seas based 1500 meters runner said he was very prepared. "I ran 336 back in the ending of June, and after that, I reached qualifying time, and from that time on, I just focus on training specifically for these games, so I didn't do much rating...but I was very, very ready," he told Curtis.
"I have a muscle spine in my back which has been bothering me for the last couple of weeks - I don't think it had an effect on my race. It bothered me a little bit, but I don't think it was a major problem...but its pretty sore right now...but I am working on it," Agar said.
Now Dominica has four years will get it's athletes ready for the Olympic Games in the year 2000 which will be held in Australia.
CaKaFete and Dominica On-Line, wish all the Dominican Olympic athletes who represented this beautiful country(Dominica) at the Centennial Olympic Games, well.
Dominica's chances to bring home an Olympic Medal is getting slimmer. Only one remaining athlete in Steven Agar is left to run for Dominica.
Cedric Harris failed to make it to the second round in the Men's 800 meters on Sunday. Cedric got the biggest test of his career when he ran the 800 meters, but the challenge was too much. Harris place sixth from his group of seven and 49th overall from 56 runners in a slow time of 1 minute 51.46 seconds.
Soon after Harris had completed the distance, the Dominican athletes Doctor, Canada based Dominican Wilbour Kelsick, had to attend to him because he appeared to be in a little trouble after the race. Cedric had to see Doctor Kelci for some 45 minutes. At the end of his visit with the Doctor, Cedric told Curtis he was disappointed with his race.
"At the 400 meter mark, which is the half way mark, I got into some little trouble with my rare but and could not move them. I could not slow down and fall back so I had to stay and carry a long with the guys. There was a guy in front of me just slowing me down. In fact when I made a move from the back , I could not response because I was all jammed up. After the pack went, When I try making a move they were too far gone. I just try my best to catch up at 600 meters but it was too late," said Harris.
Disappointment is what hit Jerome Romain at the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta. Jerome, last year's World Bronzes Medalist at Guttebery, Sweden......battling a knee injured, was forced to pull out from the Triple Jump Final on Saturday evening. He aggravated the knee injury attempting his first jump. After that attempt, Jerome took no further part as he limped off the track in pains.
"On my run through, I was actually feeling allot of pain while I was running.....I wasn't even doing any jumping, so I spoke to my coach and told him I wasn't going to jump, then I said I am going to try and jump, but I just couldn't take the pain....so I just ran through that first jump and just pass my second and third jump" said Jerome speaking to Curtis Mathew with a disappointing tone in his voice.
Jerome went on to say that he really had his hopes set high on getting a medal...."if I was healthy, I really would have come in here and get a medal. I am really disappointed the way things went. The best scenario would be to be feeling one hundred healthy....going in there and maybe getting a Silver or Bronzes, but it did not work out that way". There is no reason why I should keep my head down because I certainly came out here and give it my all".
The World Bronzes Medalist said that he has been in and out with the knee injury. However, every time he jumps, the knee gets irritated. He says in the primarily of the Triple Jump, was the waste he had ever felt the pain. He think he will just sit out the end of the season and if the knee is well, take part in the Grand Prix.
Jerome plans to be back home in Dominica around October November this year, but before that, he will try and get the knee fix if it means having an operation. He ended his interview with Curtis may said that he is only 25-years....one of the youngest triple jumpers at the Olympic games, and he plans to work hard for the Olympics in the year 2000.
Dawn William who made it to the Semi-finals on Saturday, can leave the Centennial Games a proud athlete. She narrowly mist out from a place in the 800 Meter Final. From four qualifiers in the group, Dawn placed 5th creating the second national record in two days 1 minute 59.06 seconds. Her time in the first round was 1minute 59.65 seconds which was also a national record.
She trailed for most of the race, but the last seconds surge was still too slow to beat a strong field. Dawn finish in 10th place from the 15 athletes in the Semi-final race.
Cedric Harris will go after medal when he enters the 800 meters in the first round on Sunday about 10:00 and Steven Agar will make his entry on Monday at 10.45 AM.
Jerome Romain is into the finals of the Triple Jump at the Olympic Games In Atlanta. While being far from his best, Jerome made it to the finals after injuring his knee while attempting his second jump, things were looking bleak for the World Bronze Medalist. Well, however, his first jump of 16.80 meters placed him 10th overall from the twelve qualifiers and although this was far from his best, 20 others competitors were below the World Bronze medalist.
Speaking to sports Curtis Mathew, Jerome said it was a difficult time getting to the finals. "I have been battle this knee injuring - things really didn't go as plan. The perfect scenario would have been just making an automatic qualifying on my first jump to the finals". Jerome continue to tell Curtis that he jump 16 meters on his first but on his second jump, he band his knee a little. He said he was concern, but had to tug it up in the three jump. "I did do the third jump but to me it did not go as plan. Jerome said he is happy to be in the finals and on Saturday, he will give it his best shoot, and he will be doing better than he did in the qualifying Round. His final jump will be about 08.10 PM on Saturday 27th July.
Don Williams will be running in her semi-finals from 08:25 PM this evening
Well, while the history maker for Dominica at the Olympics Woody Lawrence, and Hermin Joseph did not make it pass the first round of their individual events, Dawn Williams has made it to the second round in her event, being the first Dominican athlete to pass the first qualifying round. She is through to the next round in the 800 meters. Dawn waited for the last 10 seconds of the race to make her surge, which got her through in 1.59.65 seconds, a new national record.
From the five heats, the best two qualified plus the best six times, from the entire completion. Dawn did not place second from her heat, but her 1.59.65 seconds, was sufficient to sent her into the next round. She placed thirteen overall from 30 runners.
Curtis caught up with Dawn after the race. He said that Dawn was very excited. "They took the first 200 really fast, and I was faster than I am use to running, so I kind of hang back just behind to conserve some energy because I new it was going be a kickers race, and try to just kick it in the last 150 meters"
The Dominican athlete told Curtis she was just telling her self that too many people were depending on her, so she could not let any body down, "so she think I did her job, said Dawn Williams.
Hermin Joseph has not reached the second round of the 100 meters, needed to be in the top four from eight competitors from her heat. Hermin placed fifth in 11.56 seconds and after the seventh heats she placed 34th overall from 56 runners of the Caribbean athletes Merlene Otey and Juliete Cuthbert of Jamaica won their respective heats.
Following the race on Friday Curtis Matthew, DBS' sports reporter, spoke to Hermin. He ask about her first race at the Olympic games. "For one thing I had never been so confident in the race, I mean I went there with so much strength and confidence. I was leading the race right through maybe some eighty meters or so and then I just felt myself over striding. The race in the beginning was perfect that was how I really wanted to run the race, but then all of a sudden, when people started moving up on my shoulder, I just tightened up a little bit and then I just started over striding and this is where I lost the race. Its pretty disappointing, but I know that I have probably one more chance again to go to the Olympics in the year 2000".
Well, leading Dominican swimmer Woody Lawrence, was never expected to reach the finals of the 50 meters Freeshyle, at the Olympics games on Thursday 25th July. His best time of 27.80 is far below some of the best times in the world, including the world record of 21.81 seconds by the American Tom Jaguar and the Olympic record of 21.97 seconds, by Russian Alexander Audoff, who competed on Thursday. So to be in the top from 63 competitors, Woody had to perform a miracle in his first Olympic appearance.
Well miracles are very rare in this competitions, and although Woody won the first heat of the day in 27.88 seconds to beat Rene Macouso of Gongo, everyone in the eight remaining heatts performed better times than him. Woody Lawrence finished 60th from the 63 competitors in 27.88 seconds still below his best time of 27.80 seconds.
Woody said when he got up from bed in the morning, he was pretty anxious - "nervous but I kept it under control, when I entered the pool my emphasis was just getting into the pool and getting warmed up and getting wet I didn't want to spend too much time warming up", Woody told DBS' Sports Chief Curtis Matthew, who is in Atlanta with the Dominica Olympic Team.
"At the start of the heat, Woody said he was very nervous. "I had a pretty slow start of the block, but I managed to pull through and won my heat", says Woody.
With the Olympic excitement over for Woody, he now looking forward to returning home and start coaching the youngsters he has been working with. He said that, he hopes to the young swimmers, his participation at the Olympics will be a form of inspiration and they can use that to work and train hard.
On Friday 26th July, Jerome Romain, Hermin Joseph and Don Williams begin their quest for the prestigious medal at the Olympic games in Atlanta, and all eyes will be on Bronze medalist Jerome, to bring home a medal for Dominica.
Dominica's sprint queen, Hermin Joseph, will be seeking a spot in the second round of 100 metres women's race on Friday, as the 32-year-old Joseph, who is on an athletic scholarship in Texas, is expected to about run at 10 o'clock in the morning.
Joseph's younger brother Thomas Joseph, says the family is very proud of their sister achievements.
The proud mother of Hermin, Helena Joseph, says she's very happy her daughter could participate at the Atlanta Olympic Games, and really feel proud she has this daughter who is helping to put her country on the map.
Unlike track and field, one does not have to be qualified to enter the swimming competition at the Olympic Games. So while Jerome Romain, Hermine Joseph, Stephen Agar, Dawn Williams and Cedric Harris were force to meet qualifying standards, Woody Lawrence got to Atlanta because he is most certainly the best swimmer in Dominica.
Because he first let Dominica at the baby age of nine-years to live in Barbados and at 15 he migrated to Canada, most Woody swimming career was done out of Dominica.
For example, he represented both Barbados and Canada at the international level. However, since returning to Dominica in 1993, Woody achievements have been tremendous. Two gold medals at the OECS Meet in 1995, and one in 1994, plus a 15 and a half mile swim in Dominica to help raise swimming awareness in his home land, has easily made Wood Lawrence the best athlete in the sport at home.
29-year-old Woody, the son of Wendell Lawrence, a civil engineer at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and Erma Lawrence, a secretary at System Carib Limited, Woody is about to create history when he goes to the swimming pool on Thursday 25 July, some where about 10.15 AM, he will become the first Dominican to compete at the Olympic Games.
Woody will be competing in the 50 metres Freeshyle, and since he is the first Dominica ever competing in the Olympic for his country, he will have to give to the organising committee for their archives a memorabilia - anything like his bathing trunk that he swimming in, a pin or something which will be use as a maker for historical purposes. This memorabilia will be a mark of remembrance of Dominica first entry in to the Olympic, and the first participant in the Olympic Games.
Dominican's who stated glued to their television set and listened on radio were disappointed on the night of Saturday 20 July, when NBC did not show the Dominica Olympic Team on parade at the opening of the Atlanta Olympics. Looking at the opening ceremony, it seems that the parade was moving in alphabetical order, and at the end of each alphabet, NBC would take a commercial break, and return just to catch the first of the next alphabet. At the end of C there was the usual break for commercial, but when NBC cameras returned to Olympic City, the scene was E. Where did D go?
Well, you can depend on CakaFete and it's sister site Dominica
O-Line, to follow the Dominica Olympic Team. Here is a glimpse of what you missed on NBC.
Update : Monday 22. The first event for Dominica at the olympics will be at 10.00 AM on Thursday 25 July, when Woody Lawrence goes for medal in the 50m Freeshyle Back Stroke swimming competions.
Dominicas full Olympic Team In Atlanta :
Other members of the Dominican contingent are Ppresident of the DOC St. Havis Shillingford, chef de mission Felix Wilson, Joyce Rabess, Clifford Severin, Michael Seaman and Val Nicholas,
Canada based Dominican Wilbour Kelsick is the team's doctor, while Curtley Bynoe is the coach of Dominica Team participating in the Olympics for the first time.
Two young athletes are also expected to travel to Atlanta to attend an Olympic youth camp. Long distance runner Sabrina Durand and swimmer Jahdeen Lewis are scheduled to leave here on Tuesday with the Dominican delegation.
Emotional, that how the Dominican athletes are describing their
first appearance at the opening ceremony at the Atlanta Olympic
games on Saturday 20 July, said DBS Sports Chief Curtis Matthew,
who is with the Dominica team. "All the Dominican athletes match
through the giant Olympic stadium where eighty-three thousand
people plus ten thousand athletes watch one of the most attractive
opening ceremony ever", described Curtis in an exciting voice.
Cedric Harris the 800 and 1500 meters runner, told Curtis that the
tears were not far from coming as Dominica made its very first
appearance at the Olympic games.
The best kept secret, who would light the Olympic caldron was
revealed after Mohammed Ali an Olympic gold medalist in 1960, did
the honors. Ali ended the Olympic touch relay which started on
April 27th in Los Angeles, and covered fifteen thousand miles
through forty-three states.
With the pump and pageantry subsiding attention now turns to the
competition, no Dominican will compete before Tuesday 24th, when
Woody Lawrence Dominica's only swimmer at the Olympic games goes
into his first heat.
Both Don Williams and Steven Agar will compete in long distance
races late in the week and following the opening ceremony last
night they were heading to Arkansas to continue training.
The DBS Sports Chief asked Dawn Williams the 800 meters runner who
comes from the town of Portsmouth, how does she feels about her
opportunity to represent her country at the Olympics games for the
very first time. "it is very great I think I'm privilege because
allot of people trained really hard and didn't make the qualifying
standard and just to represent Dominica is just a wonderful
feeling", said Dawn.
Curtis continued interviewing Dawn Williams : The opening ceremony
took place last night and you were part of that as you are
representing Dominica for the first time, how did you feel during
the opening ceremony last night? "it was just wonderful everybody
was so cheerful and stuff, and then we saw our flag we were walking
by and waving at the crowd I cannot explain how it felt because we
were so excited and pumped up", Dawn answered.
Curtis : Now you have the eight hundred meters event to take part
in on Friday how prepared are you for this Olympic 800 meters race?
[Dawn] "OK, I think I'm very prepared because my past three races
I've set personal best and last weekend at North Carolina. I
qualified running a lifetime best of 2.01 and I still think I can
go under 2 so I think I am very prepared".
Curtis : And you are telling me that you are leaving Atlanta now to
travel to Little Rock Arkansas. And what is going to happen there?
[Dawn] "That's where I work out and train at and I'm 'gonna' work
out for a couple more days before I come back.
Dawn williams and 1500 meters runner Steven Agar headed back to
Arkansas where they will continue their training in preparation for
their races later this week.
Agar who will run in the 1500 race for Dominica said "our team
outfit was one of the better ones out there and people in the crowd
was well impressed about the way we looked. We waited a long time
to be accepted by the IOC since 1985 we have been trying to get
things started finally to get here is very rewarding.
Cedric Harris the 800 and 1500 meters runner, told Curtis that the tears were not far from coming as Dominica made its very first appearance at the Olympic games.
The best kept secret, who would light the Olympic caldron was revealed after Mohammed Ali an Olympic gold medalist in 1960, did the honors. Ali ended the Olympic touch relay which started on April 27th in Los Angeles, and covered fifteen thousand miles through forty-three states.
With the pump and pageantry subsiding attention now turns to the competition, no Dominican will compete before Tuesday 24th, when Woody Lawrence Dominica's only swimmer at the Olympic games goes into his first heat.
Both Don Williams and Steven Agar will compete in long distance races late in the week and following the opening ceremony last night they were heading to Arkansas to continue training.
The DBS Sports Chief asked Dawn Williams the 800 meters runner who comes from the town of Portsmouth, how does she feels about her opportunity to represent her country at the Olympics games for the very first time. "it is very great I think I'm privilege because allot of people trained really hard and didn't make the qualifying standard and just to represent Dominica is just a wonderful feeling", said Dawn.
Curtis continued interviewing Dawn Williams : The opening ceremony took place last night and you were part of that as you are representing Dominica for the first time, how did you feel during the opening ceremony last night? "it was just wonderful everybody was so cheerful and stuff, and then we saw our flag we were walking by and waving at the crowd I cannot explain how it felt because we were so excited and pumped up", Dawn answered.
Curtis : Now you have the eight hundred meters event to take part in on Friday how prepared are you for this Olympic 800 meters race? [Dawn] "OK, I think I'm very prepared because my past three races I've set personal best and last weekend at North Carolina. I qualified running a lifetime best of 2.01 and I still think I can go under 2 so I think I am very prepared".
Curtis : And you are telling me that you are leaving Atlanta now to travel to Little Rock Arkansas. And what is going to happen there? [Dawn] "That's where I work out and train at and I'm 'gonna' work out for a couple more days before I come back.
Dawn williams and 1500 meters runner Steven Agar headed back to Arkansas where they will continue their training in preparation for their races later this week.
Agar who will run in the 1500 race for Dominica said "our team outfit was one of the better ones out there and people in the crowd was well impressed about the way we looked. We waited a long time to be accepted by the IOC since 1985 we have been trying to get things started finally to get here is very rewarding.
The Dominica athletic team's potential is fully reflected in achievements of
~ he gained the bronze medal in the triple jump
in the World Athletic Championships in Sweden with over 17 metres
~ the silver medal in the last Pan American Games in Argentina
~ the gold medal in the last Central American and Caribbean Games in Guatemala.
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