Nu är vi up and running

NatWest Island Games på Bermuda är igång! Öppningsceremonin blev en fullträff; genuin, varm, inspirerande och framtidsinriktad med hjälp av lokala ungdomar som sjöng, trummade, dansade och hade sig. Kalasstart.
Alla öars ledare på en och samma plats går igenom transportsystemet inför invigningsceremonin.
Trumslagarpojkarna sätter färg på vilken tillställning som helst.
Man ser det inte så bra på den här bilden men mitt i allt kom ett UFO inflygande på arenan. Eller så var det en tv-kamera...
I dag är det tävlingar med Marcus Brandt i spetsen. Han går ut i triathlon genast på morgonen vid halv åtta-tiden, halv två på Åland. Det blev några tal, här är det första i samband med VIP-mottagningen på en lokal seglingsklubb. Mina ord föll så här:

Your Excellence, Mr. Premier, ministers, ladies and gentlemen, friends,

What started as a dream in Isle of Man 1985 has grown to a movement that over the years has created memories and friendship all over the world. NatWest Island Games has inspired islanders to reach further and try harder. During the years we have seen records broken, venues built, friendship created and young islanders turned into international role models. Each Games is different and each Games has contributed to the success we are facing. We know for a fact that everything can be achieved.

Being here today is another step towards a better future. I remember like it was yesterday the very first time I met my friend and the chairman of the Bermuda Island Games Association, Jon Beard. We were in Isle of Man to compete in the NatWest Island Games 2001. Jon was there to seek membership in our little but growing family. It was an easy decision to say welcome to Bermuda. The rest is history. But apart from bringing in top-athletes to the NatWest Island Games Bermuda wanted more. They were prepared to take responsibility as a Host Island and therefore we are standing here today soon to witness the fifteenth NatWest Island Games to be officially opened by His Excellency the Governor George Fergusson. Bermuda also did what we expect from our athletes. They lost the first time against the Isle of Wight at the AGM in Rhodes 2006. They did not surrender, they came back with an even stronger and better bid. And they won.

The unanimous decision to award Bermuda the fifteenth NatWest Island Games was taken in Åland 2008. We were standing in the Åland Parliament as we signed the agreement. It felt ages away. Now we are standing here and once again we are aware of the fact that time is long only in one direction.

Thanks to the NatWest Island Games we have made it possible for islanders to compete on an international level. We have provided them a platform from which they can build their lives stronger and better than before.

The NatWest Island Games in Bermuda is defining in many ways. But besides being the first time our family have left Europe in order to compete on the other side of The Atlantic Ocean it is the eight’ Games where we work together with NatWest as our title sponsor. It started of as a quite regular sponsorship but has developed into a relationship. I want to thank Steve Camm, Jerry Whitsey, Derek Coombes, John Lindon and their staff for their support in our ongoing work to bring islands and islander together in sport and friendship. Thanks to their efforts and enthusiasm we are not just developing sport, we are inspiring the youngsters of today to become our leaders of tomorrow. By doing good, you become better.

I also want to thank all other sponsors, the State of Bermuda, the city of Hamilton, hundreds of volunteers and everyone else that has contributed to the fact that we are soon to witness joy, inspiration, courage, bravery, competition and excitement. Sport is life and life is sport and they walk together along life’s way.

Finally I want to thank all those member islands who have succeeded in bringing all competitors, officials, supporters and dignitaries to Bermuda. You have accepted the invitation and led your people over the Atlantic Ocean. You have told them that challenges are only there because they make you stronger. I am deeply impressed of the work you do and the leadership you show. Nothing happens without hard work and talented leaders. You are all great examples of inspiration which makes our islands and our world a better and a brighter place.

Let the Games begin.
Så här såg det ut från läktarplats med panoramakameran påkopplad.


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