Jessica Lewis is happy it is August! Woohoo the Paralympic Games are this month!
Lewis wrote, “I last wrote to you before heading to Quebec City to compete in some races so I will start there. We were in Quebec for 10 days and I competed in 21 races. It was so great to be back competing. The Quebec City track is a really fast one, but it can get quite windy there so a lot of the 100m races we did had an illegal strength tailwind. But we had a few that were legal and will count to put us on the 2021 world ranking list.
Over the course of the 5 meets I was most excited for my 400m races as I FINALLY broke the 1 minute mark by pushing a time of 58.54 seconds. This is something that I have been trying to do since Rio and I was always on the cusp pushing 1 minute something or 1:01. It is also exciting as my teammate Nan, who is a T54 the class above me, also broke the 1 minute mark this year. We have had some really great competition between us in the 400m. Jessica Frotten also competed and between the 3 of us we had some fantastic races.
After Quebec we had a couple weeks of training and then we competed again in Toronto at York University at Athletics Ontario Provincials. The race was on the track that we are currently training on. I came within 0.02 hundredths of a second from a PB in the 100m clocking a time of 16.76 (my PB is 16.74) so I am really excited for how I am pushing at the last race before Tokyo.
Watching the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has been a bit surreal for me. It has been a rollercoaster ride of 5 years since Rio, with many ups, downs, losses and gains.
From dealing with the loss of an incredible coach and learning to work with another, competing and medaling 3 times at Lima 2019, placing 4th in the 100m at Dubai World Championships, and to moving back to Bermuda for 15 months, training through a pandemic all made it seem like an impossible goal to achieve. I’m grateful that I have enough love for the sport and the incredible team behind me to have held on and pushed through.
Bermuda was represented by 2 athletes at the Olympic Games: Flora Duffy in triathlon which was her 4th games, and Dara Alizadeh in rowing which was his 1st games. A massive congratulations goes out to Flora for winning Bermuda’s first GOLD Olympic Medal. She is an incredible athlete, who’s dedication, perseverance and hard work through the past 5 years could not be denied over the course of the race. I am so incredibly proud of her career and am so glad that she achieved this incredible accomplishment. A history making moment for our beautiful little island. What a time to be a Bermudian.
A huge congratulations goes to Dara as well who finished 18th overall. Qualifying for an Olympic Games is no small feat and through the different rounds of rowing he got faster which put him into the C Final. I am looking forward to watching what he will accomplish next!
I probably sound like a broken record but representing Bermuda is the greatest honor of my life and to get to do so alongside such amazing athletes like Dara and Flora makes it even more special.“