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BVIOC President pleased with VI's Olympic progress

The Virgin Islands' athletes that competed at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: Provided
Fireworks explode during the Rio 2016 closing ceremony on August 21, 2016. Photo: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times
Fireworks explode during the Rio 2016 closing ceremony on August 21, 2016. Photo: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- As the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games came to a close in a festive celebration of the 31st Olympiad on Sunday August 21, 2016, the Virgin Islands (VI) delegation of athletes, coaches, physiotherapist and doctor returned home with unforgettable experiences and memories.

The VI was represented by four athletes in two sports and four events.

“This has been the largest team to attend the Summer Olympic Games in the last four Olympiads,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee.

“Over the years the BVIOC has worked behind the scenes to tap into funding offered by bodies such as Olympic Solidarity to put additional resources in place to help our National Federations develop and train promising athletes. This effort is now bearing fruit as we start to see a resurgence of athletes in different sports making it to the biggest stage of competition. We commend our athletes for their dedication to getting here and encourage them to continue their efforts in achieving their potential as we look ahead to Tokyo 2020.”


16-year old swimmer, Elinah Phillip, who attended her first Olympic Games on a universality invitation, competed in the 6th Heat of the 50m Freestyle to come in third place with a time of 26.26. While this was not enough to advance her to the semi-finals, the result delivered a Personal Best and a national record.

For Tahesia G. Harrigan-Scott, this was a bitter-sweet farewell to the Olympic arena as she concluded her third Olympic appearance with her final attempt at the 100m dash. Tahesia ran a time of 11.54 in her heat which did not advance her to the semi-finals. Tahesia was disappointed with her time, noting that it did not reflect the level of fitness and preparedness that she felt for the Games. Tahesia’s current Personal Best is 11.12 and her Season’s Best is 11.39.

Ashley N. Kelly, who was the flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony of her first Olympic Games, was the third athlete to represent the territory. She finished in 5th place with a time of 26.26 in Heat 9 of the 200m. Thrown by a runner drifting into her lane in the stretch, Ashley lost focus on her race with a disappointing result for the athlete. Her Personal and Season’s Best time is 23.17.

Eldred Henry rounded up the VI’s participation when he competed in his first Olympics under the universality invitation. He took to the field in Group B of the Shot Put qualifying round but his throw of 17.07 meters did not advance him to the finals. His Personal Best is 20m and Season Best is 19.39m.

Positive experience

Rio 2016 Chef de Mission, Stephanie Russ Penn under the oversight of the BVI Olympic Committee Executive, managed the territory’s presence at the Games. Her roles included undertaking the administrative process for the attendance of the athletes and delegation in advance of the Games as well executing official requirements and on-the-ground management of daily team programmes during the Games.

“The BVI can be proud of its team members who remained focused in the run up to each of their events. The coaches, physiotherapist and doctor were on call as needed and provided critical services to the athletes in their preparations for competition.

“Overall the experience has been positive. Whilst there were some challenges, fortunately our time at Rio 2016 was not particularly hampered by issues of security or on-site amenities. The Brazilian people we met were warm, friendly and helpful and I must give special mention to our two dedicated Brazilian NOC Assistants, Elaine and Jessica for their invaluable roles in helping me get things done during the Games.”

In addition to Mrs Russ-Penn, the official delegation to Rio 2016 included Winston Potter, Head Athletics Coach, Omar Jones, Athletics Coach, Benoit Grattepanche, Swimming Coach, Tracy Bradshaw, Swimming Chaperone, Matthew McGrath, Physiotherapist, Dr Harlan Vanterpool, Doctor, Mark Chapman, Olympic Attache, Ephraim Penn, President, BVIOC and Lloyd Black, Secretary General, BVIOC.

About Rio 2016

More than 11,000 athletes from 207 National Olympic Committees took part in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. There were 306 sets of medals across 28 Olympic sports, including rugby sevens and golf, which were added to the Olympic program in 2009. These sporting events took place at 33 venues in the host city of Rio, and at five in São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Brasília, and Manaus.


The United States topped the medal table for the fifth time in the past six Summer Olympics, winning the most golds (46) and most medals overall (121). Great Britain and China finished in second and third respectively. Host country Brazil won seven gold medals, their most at any single Summer Olympics.


6 Responses to “BVIOC President pleased with VI's Olympic progress”

  • Congrates! Team (24/08/2016, 17:40) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    We have come a long way and only better to get.
    • Great coverage (25/08/2016, 01:55) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Koudos to the oranising team for keeping the stories about thr BVI team coming all month.
  • parent (24/08/2016, 23:15) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    they did their best yall
  • sorry (25/08/2016, 03:45) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    We're sorry, NDP confusion have us so distracted, we even forget to Congratulate our Olympic Team. Congratulations to all the members for your efforts. BVI Thank You ALL.
  • For Ral (25/08/2016, 08:29) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    No official welcome recognition for our athletes is so cold
    is it because they didn't win gold? this is poor taste on behalf
    of the Government. The kids work so hard and it cost the parents
    so much.
  • observant (25/08/2016, 09:44) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thrown by a runner drifting in her lane and you all didnt further investigate this . Check what happened to the USA team got a rerun and also end up with the gold medal.Who knows we might have gotten a medal in the final. Dont let this pass us by the next time please.anyway congrats to all a job well done and make sure we have more advnces going into the World Champs and the next Olympics. Take a break for at least a few weeks then get back out there to train once more.

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