2017 Associated Press
The Olympics Games have come and gone once again, but it would be a waste not to take a moment and reflect on some of the great displays of diversity that we saw in Pyeongchang in 2018. Not only were we able to celebrate the reuniting of North and South Korea through the North Korea’s participation in the games, but also saw, for the first time, the unified Korea women’s ice hockey team competing in front of a crowd filled with an awe-inspiring mix of citizens from both countries. The display severed as a backdrop to an opening of discussion and negotiation between the North and South on re-building their relationship for the future of the two nations and its people.
Not every international development was trenched in political undertones, however, as the Caribbean Islands enjoyed a bit of representation of their own, with a sum of five fantastic athletes representing Bermuda, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico competing in four different sports across this 2018 Games. Let’s go over them and how they performed!
First, we have 17-year-old Charles Flaherty, who represented Puerto Rico in Alpine Skiing. Born in Cincinnati, OH, Charles was eligible to compete under the Puerto Rican banner due to his parents moving to the country when he was nine-years-old, still residing in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico to this day. Puerto Rico hasn’t seen Winter Olympic action since 1998 and hadn’t sent any athletes since 2002, when their two-man bobsled team could not compete due to an ineligible athlete. The poor showing effectively ended any future considerations for Puerto Rican athletes looking to compete in the winter. However, after qualifying for the Games and contacting the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee, he inspired the committee to grant a six-month membership into the Winter Sports Federation and allowed Flaherty to compete in the Games with no additional funding. Out of 110 participants in the Men’s Giant Slalom, Flaherty was able to speed past some of the best in the world and finish in 73rd overall.
Moving on to Bermuda, we have cross-country skier Tucker Murphy who is competing in his whopping 3rd Olympic Games. Debuting in Vancouver in 2010 and competing again in Sochi in 2014, Murphy is a veteran cross-country skier with several top 25 finishes since beginning his skiing career in 2006. While he’s finished much stronger in the past, his 104th place finish was a strong and consistent one. If he so chooses, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a 40-year-old Murphy competing in 2022.
And lastly, we have the island of Jamaica, as usually, providing two landmark firsts within their three participants. In the Men’s Skeleton, Jamaica celebrated entering a skeleton runner for the first time in its history. Born in New Jersey, Anthony Watson gained Jamaican eligible status due to his father having been born in the island nation. Having trained with the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, it’s not hard to see how he was able to prove his Olympic worth and qualify for the Olympic Games. The second and third athletes from the Jamaican delegation have the honor of being the first women ever sent to the Winter Games by Jamaica. Women’s Bobsledders Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian, who competed for Team USA in 2014, and Carrie Russell, who won the Gold Medal in the 2013 World Championships 4×100 in Moscow, stood out as one of the most athletically gifted pairings in the event.
We here at Ocean News Network salute these fine athletes and hope for more Caribbean success in the Olympic future!