Pan Am Games officially open

| 29/07/2019
CNS Local Life
Flag bearer Kemar Hyman leads the Cayman delegation at the opening ceremony (Photo by Andrel Harris)

(CNS Local Life): With more than 50,000 people in attendance for the opening ceremony on Friday, 26 July, and 41 participating countries represented at the 18th Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, Kemar Hyman, a two-time Olympian and Cayman Islands 100m national record holder, led the Cayman delegation of eight into the National Stadium as the country’s flag bearer.

Under an overcast sky and slight mist, the delegation of eight joined the parade of nations into the stadium to the beat of Peruvian drums, and around the Nevado Pariacaca, the sacred mountain of Lima, according to a Cayman Islands Olympic Committee press release. Dressed in ‘island chic’ attire, the men wore light blue linen pants, white shirts, hats and boat shoes, while the women also sported hats but were in white dresses and white-heeled sandals.

Taking part in the ceremony for Cayman were gymnast Raegan Rutty, gymnastic manager Angel Rutty, gymnastic coach Edward Umphrey, sailor Jesse Jackson, sailing coach Raphael Harvey, chef de mission Eilidh Bridgeman and press attaché Jade Webster. Athletes entered the stadium in an order dictated by tradition: Argentina, the host of the inaugural Pan American Games, entered first, with this year’s host Peru entering last. The remaining countries walked in according to alphabetical order in Spanish. Cayman Islands, Islas Caimán, was the 24th country to enter the arena.

The spectators in the sold-out stadium were taken through Peruvian history, with ancient cultures and civilisations evoked through music and dance. Pre-Hispanic gods, Peruvian Paso horses and a digital reincarnation of Peruvian singer Chabuca Granda featured throughout the ceremony.

Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez performed his song “The Cinnamon Flower” and Latino megastar Luis Fonsi also sang.

The 16 days of competition started over the weekend, with Rutty competing in the qualifying round for artistic gymnastics Saturday.

Laser standard sailor Jackson will begin five days of races on 3 August. Swimmer John Bodden hits the pool starting 6 August; he will be competing in the 400m freestyle, 200m butterfly and the 1,500m freestyle. Lauren Hew and Brett Fraser start their swimming events on 7 August in the 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly, respectively, and both will also compete in the 100m and 50m freestyle.

Kemar Hyman will be competing in the 100m sprint prelims on 6 August, which will determine who qualifies for the semifinals the following day.

The Cayman Islands have participated in every one of the quadrennial Pan American Games since competing for the first time at the Puerto Rico Games in 1979.

Tags: ,

Category: Sports

Comments are closed.