Just hours after being bestowed with the Silver Crown of Merit insignia, Ambassador Ryan Brathwaite was crowned the Digicel 4G Athlete of the Year at the Barbados Olympic Association Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Friday night at the Hilton Hotel.
In front of a large gathering at the hotel’s Needham’s Point Ballroom, the 2009 110 Metre Hurdles World Champion also walked away with the President’s Award. He won both awards after placing fifth in the finals of the Men’s 110 Metre Hurdles at the London Olympics. Brathwaite was presented with the Silver Crown of Merit insignia by Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave on Friday morning. It was given in recognition of his gold medal run in the 110 Metre Hurdles at the 2009 World Championships in Germany.
BOA President Steve Stoute SCM, congratulated Brathwaite on his achievement and reminded those gathered that it “was no mean feat for a country with a population of less than 300 000”.
Stoute also took the opportunity to thank the national associations for re-electing him for yet another year, and giving him the chance to fulfill his pledge of spreading the Olympic spirit around Barbados. He noted that the BOA needed to more effectively convey to the public of Barbados its work and mission, as the overwhelming belief was that the association only dealt with the Olympics every four years.
He noted that the BOA also helps in the preparation of teams to major events such as the Central American and Caribbean Games, the Pan American Games and the Commonwealth Games. The BOA also facilitates scholarships for coaches and also hosts courses in coaching and sports administration.
“We are just one of two NOCs in the region to be conducting the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Advanced Sports Administrators’ Course and tonight we recognized the achievement of those who completed the course,” said Stoute.
Stoute was full of praise for telecommunications company Digicel Barbados who provided the members of the Barbados Olympic Team to London with cellular phones.
The BOA was formed in 1955 and obtained IOC recognition in that year. However, with the formation of the West Indies Federation in 1958, the BOA joined forces with the rest of the Caribbean to be a part of the West Indies Olympic Association and competed under that banner at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome.
With the dissolution of the West Indies Federation in 1962, the BOA became fully active for the first time, and this gave Barbados the opportunity to compete at the CAC Games, Pan Am Games and Commonwealth Games. It was then in 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, that Barbados competed as a nation at an Olympic Games. Barbados has participated at every Olympic Games, with the exception of the 1980 Games in Moscow, Russia.