Of the 6,000-plus athletes and team officials who participated, the Commonwealth Games Federation selected local star athlete Kyron McMaster to sit at their head table during a press conference on the final day of the Games held in Australia.
The press conference was two-fold. It served as a wrap-up of the annual Games, and it afforded the historic 400-metre hurdles gold medalist the opportunity to speak of his experience in the international event.
“Winning the first medal for the British Virgin Islands was big. Before the race, everyone was messaging me crazily saying, ‘no pressure, but we want the medal’,” he said.
“Winning it after what we have been through (Hurricane Irma), I was happy that I could deliver on that and especially the gold medal. Everyone was just so happy and so I was happy to bring some joy back to the BVI.”
A signal of hope
According to McMaster, his win signals hope for other athletes.
“Not only for the athletes back home but also those from other small countries who haven’t medaled yet, who can say ‘if this small-town boy can do it, we can do it’.”
He added: “For the athletes back home, I know that they are looking at it as motivation regardless of the standards of their training. They can use it and can progress.”
The star athlete now looks forward to competing at the annual International Association of Athletics Federation’s Diamond League events.
It is slated for May 4 in Qatar, Western Asia.
Meanwhile, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Louise Martin commended the small countries like the BVI for their first-time victories at the Games.
“Forty-three countries have won medals. Five of these are first-ever medals and they’re all small countries which, to me, is exceptional,” she said.
Seventy-one Commonwealth nations participated in this year’s Games.
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