[Updated] This year marks the 80th anniversary of Bermuda’s participation in the Olympics, and a celebration is planned for October 15th, which will see the unveiling of an Olympic Wall on the grounds of City Hall in Hamilton.
The Olympic Wall will encompass six standing granite tablets of varying heights which will be engraved with the names of all of Bermuda’s Olympic Games participants to date, with the BOA saying that the “Wall will be a permanent tribute to those who have had the privilege of competing” in the Olympic Games and “serve as an inspiration to future generations of Bermudian Olympians.”
The announcement from the BOA said, “This year marks the 80th Anniversary of Bermuda’s participation in the Olympic Games. International Olympic Committee [IOC] approval for the formation of the Bermuda Olympic Committee was received on 13th February, 1936 and an invitation to take part in the 11th Olympiad in Berlin was received shortly thereafter.
“Eighty years later, the Bermuda Olympic Association [BOA] remains committed to the development of athletes and supports the development of “sport for all” programmes and high performance sport in Bermuda.
“Its principal objectives are to promote the fundamental principles of Olympism at the national level within the framework of sports and to ensure that Bermudian athletes attend the Olympic Games and other regional games, such as the Pan Am Games, the Commonwealth Games and CAC Games.
“Six swimmers represented Bermuda at the 1936 Olympic Games held in Berlin and during the past eighty years, some 170 individuals have represented our Island in the Olympic Games. BOA representatives have participated in every summer Olympic Games since 1936,with the exception of the 1980 Games in Moscow.
“They have participated in the following sports during the Summer Olympics: athletics, boxing, cycling, diving, equestrian, rowing, sailing, swimming, tennis and triathlon. They also participated in luge, skeleton and skiing during the Winter Olympics from 1992 to 2010.
“A day of celebration of the BOA’s 80th Anniversary is planned for Saturday, 15th October, 2016.
“Multiple Olympic medalist [long jump and heptathlon] Jackie Joyner-Kersee of the US, generally recognized as one of the greatest athletes of all time, has accepted the BOA’s invitation to visit Bermuda as Honoured Guest for the day of celebration which will begin with the unveiling of an Olympic Wall on the grounds of City Hall in Hamilton.
“The Olympic Wall, in a beautifully landscaped setting, will have a fortified concrete base with six standing granite tablets of varying heights which will be engraved with the names of all of Bermuda’s Olympic Games participants to date, including those who recently represented the Island in Rio de Janeiro.
“Olympians’ names will appear on both sides of some of the tablets which will be designed to accommodate the names of future Olympians also. The Wall will be a permanent tribute to those who have had the privilege of competing and participating in the Olympic Games and, it is hoped, will serve as an inspiration to future generations of Bermudian Olympians.
“The BOA is exceedingly grateful to the design team from OBMI Ltd. and Sticks and Stones, a Bermuda company specializing in the import of granite and other materials, for assisting the BOA in this most important project. Partial funding for the Wall has been made available through the Olympic Education, Culture and Legacy fund administered by the IOC Olympic Solidarity programme.
“Following the unveiling of the Olympic Wall, Mrs. Joyner-Kersee will lead a workshop/training activity at the National Sports Centre for approximately 100 young Bermudian athletes. Invitations to participate have been extended to all local track and field clubs and to local schools.
“We are grateful to the Bermuda National Athletics Association for its assistance in the organization of the workshop/training activity which should prove to be an invaluable learning experience and great fun for the young participants.
“The Gala 80th Anniversary Banquet will be a highlight of the day of celebration. Mrs. Joyner-Kersee will be Guest Speaker at the Anniversary Banquet which will take place at the Fairmont Southampton at 7:30 p.m. The Banquet will also feature a video greeting from IOC President Mr. Thomas Bach and footage of Mrs. Joyner-Kersee’s participation in the Olympic Games.
“The Acting Governor, the Premier and the Minister of Community, Culture and Sports will be in attendance at the Gala Banquet, along with Bermudian Olympians, other local politicians, leaders and other representatives of various sporting organizations in Bermuda, representatives of leading Bermudian businesses, banquet sponsors and a wide cross section of the Bermuda public generally. There will also be representation from the Commonwealth Games Federation [CGF] and the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees [CANOC].
“Tickets will be available at $150 each for adults and $75 each for children thirteen years of age and younger available starting Monday September 12, 2016 via Premier Tickets at www.ptix.bm
“The BOA is especially pleased that great Olympian Mrs. Jackie Joyner-Kersee will grace Bermuda with her presence, making the 80th Anniversary celebrations an occasion to remember.
“The BOA looks forward to the participation of as many of our Olympians as possible and expresses its gratitude to the many sponsors whose contributions will ensure the success of the Anniversary celebrations.”
Update: Following comments below, we asked the BOA if Paralympians would be included, and the BOA said, “Paralympians are not included on the wall. The Bermuda Olympic Association and the Bermuda Paralympic Association are separate organizations.”