SPORTSMAN AND Sportswoman of the Year 2014 George Bovell III and Cleopatra Borel are both setting their sights firmly on the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Speaking on Friday night, after the First Citizens Sports Foundation’s Sports Awards at Queen’s Hall in St Ann’s, the 31-year-old Bovell III, asked about his plans for 2015, replied, “getting back to basics, building a great foundation for 2016, towards the Olympics. That’s what really matters.
“That’s what we all look towards, the ultimate goal,” said the lanky swim ace. “It will be nice. If it happens it happens, if it doesn’t, then I wouldn’t be too upset about it.”
Looking back at his season last year, the 2004 Athens Olympic Games 200-metre individual medley bronze medallist stated, “there were some real struggles for me in 2014. The Commonwealth Games, I was over-trained. When I was in the World Cup, I was swimming very well, then I was in Asia and I got pneumonia. I did some competitions with the pneumonia.”
He continued, “some of the hardest racing I’ve done in my career just came down to will-power. The CAC was a very memorable one for me. I think I might be the first person to win three in a row - three Games, three consecutively.”
Borel, the 2014 Commonwealth Games shot put silver medallist, was unable to attend Friday’s ceremony due to a training stint in Cuba.
Her mother Marcelle Borel, who collected the trophy on behalf of her daughter, noted, “she worked hard and when you work hard, you expect good results.”
She added, “we are always cheering her on. We are her worst and her best critics. So if she’s good, we compliment her. If she’s bad, we tell her.”
About her daughter’s plans for 2015, Borel (senior) stated, “she’s looking to do her best in all events, and looking forward to 2016. So her goal is the Olympics (as well as) Pan Am Games 2015 and World (Championships).”
The Pan Am Games will take place from July 21-26 in Toronto, Canada while the World Championships will be staged in Beijing, China from August 22-30.
Sir Hilary Beckles, pro vice-chancellor and campus principal of the Cave Hill campus (Barbados) of the University of the West Indies (UWI), delivered the feature address at Friday’s ceremony.
“In the last year, at my campus in Cave Hill, we have done something historic and unique,” he revealed. “We have rolled out a Masters Degree in Sports Science, and this degree is designed to fit into the routine, movements and cultures of our athletes.”
And, in his address to the gathering, chairman of the First Citizens Sports Foundation Dr Keith Clifford highlighted the events which the Foundation undertook last year, and also mentioned that the group plans to forge partnerships with academic institutions, both local and abroad.
Hall of Famer Florrie Kelshall (hockey) was recognised at the show, while a number of sporting persons who died in 2014 were remembered, including Rodney Wilkes (power lifting), Rawle Barrow (sailing), Kevon Carter (football), Benedict Cayenne (track and field) and cyclists Clinton Grant, Hilton “Barracuda” Mitchell, Kent Luces, Roger Smart and Ronald Dickie senior.
Entertainment was provided by the husband and wife duo of Ian “Bunji Garlin” Alvarez, who opened the show with his 2015 track “Our Time” and Fay-Ann Lyons-Alvarez, who closed the 75-minute long ceremony with her 2015 hit “Raze”.