This evening, Bermuda’s Commonwealth Youth Games team, including Medalists Matthew Oliveira (Gold and Bronze in Cycling), Sakari Famous (Bronze in High Jump) and Alyssa Rowse (Bronze in Cycling), will arrive home. Accompanying the team will be the Queen’s Baton, which makes its way to Bermuda as part of the Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay.
The Relay began its 288-day, 230,000 km journey (which will include 71 Commonwealth nations and territories), at Buckingham Palace with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II placing her message of goodwill in the Baton. It will conclude on 4 April 2018 at the opening ceremony of the XXI Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, where the Queen’s message will be read.
Thus far, the Baton has travelled through Africa and the Caribbean, with its most recent stop being The Bahamas, coinciding with the Nassau Youth Commonwealth Games which concluded yesterday. The Baton’s tour of Bermuda kicks off the Americas leg of the Relay, which will also see the Baton tour Canada, Belize, Guyana and the Falkland Islands, before heading to Europe.
The Queen’s Baton relay has been the traditional lead up to the “Friendly Games” since it was first established as part of the official programme for Cardiff 1958.
The Bermuda Olympic Association (“BOA”) has planned a detailed programme of events to celebrate the Baton’s arrival on the island. This will include photo stops across Bermuda involving athletes, youth and dignitaries, as well as press conferences at Government House on Tuesday, 25 July 2017 at 2:30 p.m. ADT, and Hamilton City Hall on Wednesday, 26 July at 12:00 p.m. ADT. The complete schedule of events is attached.
Judy Simons, President of the BOA said, “We are honoured to, once again, receive the Queen’s Baton in Bermuda, and its arrival with our Commonwealth Youth Games team who did us so proud in Nassau, with four medals, makes it all the more special. With the cooperation of the corporations of Hamilton and St. George’s, the Bermuda Government and Government House, as well as our national sports governing bodies and our athletes, we have come up with an exciting itinerary for the Bermuda leg of the Relay.”
The 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held from April 4th to 15th 2018 in Gold Coast Australia and will be the most integrated Games in history, featuring 18 sports and 7 para sports, as well as an equal number of medals for men and women.
Bermuda first competed in the Commonwealth Games in 1930 at Hamilton, Canada and has only missed four editions of the Games. The country’s first medal came in Kingston in 1966 with John Morbey’s silver medal in men's long jump. The 1990 Games in Auckland produced the first gold for Bermuda when Clarence Saunders took gold in the men's high jump.