Pan Am Games gets going today

World ranked, home-based weightlifter, Maurice King, was selected on the then West Indies Olympic team to the Games. This was during the period of the West Indies Federation and the International Olympic Committee, IOC, had recognised a West Indies Olympic Committee just as the political world had recognised the West Indies Federation.

King performed well and returned to his homeland the proud winner of a bronze medal at the Games. Thus he remains the first Vincentian athlete ever to have participated in the Pan American Games and the first to win a medal at these Games.

St Vincent and the Grenadines as an independent nation gained affiliate status with the IOC in early 1987. This recognition came too close to the registration process for participation at the Pan American Games of that year in Indianapolis, USA.

The St Vincent and the Grenadines National Olympic Committee first participated in the Pan American Games in Havana, Cuba, in 1991. The Games took place during the period, 2nd to 18th August 1991. The team comprised: Michael Ollivierre, athletics

coach, Terrence Marksman, table tennis coach, Eswort Coombs, Dexter Browne, Eversley Linley, Kent Dennie, Bigna Samuel and Yvette Haynes (track athletes), Sharon Bailey, Sean Stanley, Joseph Carrington and Truman Quashie (table tennis).

The team performed rather disappointingly. No one got by the first round of any event. No table tennis athlete got past ten points in any game.

Happily though, the records will show that the 4 x 100m relay team placed a credible fourth, if only because the USA and Jamaica collided at the final changeover and dropped their respective batons. The team was unfortunate not to have defeated the USVI for the third place and the bronze medal.