2015 Pan American Games
For over 45 years, the Virgin Islands has celebrated the Olympic tradition by sending our athletes to compete. This summer that tradition continues at the 2015 Pan American Games.
The dreams and the training of our Virgin Islands Olympians could not have been possible without the financial support of the Virgin Islands Olympic Committee and you. The Committee provided funding for travel, competition and training grants for 23 different sports.
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St. Croix—The USVI women’s U-20 national soccer team hosted Turks and Caicos for an international series which resulted in two consecutive clean sheets for the USVI.
The USVI women earned two victories over Turks and Caicos defeating them 1-0 in Friday’s match then 2-0 on the following day.
“I was proud of how we withstood the other team’s aggressive play. The defense was outstanding and the team was very focused,” said head coach Eustace Bailey.
Zola Kaza put USVI up early, scoring the only goal of the first match by attacking from the right side of the field in the 16th minute. In the second half, both sides were unable to score due to solid efforts by the two solid goalkeepers.
Bailey credited the defense, especially the strong play of Tia Hughes and goal keeper Levania Lawrence. “The team showed great improvement since our last match versus Antigua and Barbuda,” said Bailey. “Technically we were much better.”
On the following day, USVI’s Zola Kaza remained aggressive scoring two quick goals at the 10th and 16th minute marks. The team’s defense was remained sturdy preventing Turks and Caicos from creating any opportunities.
“Zola is the brain of the team, technically and tactically she was our best player and was good on both offense and defense. She really led us this series,” said Bailey.
Zola Kaza scored all three goals for the USVI squad. She was named the most valuable player.
Juan Robles (in dark uniform) the top long distance road runner in the Virgin Islands and track coach at the St. Croix Central High School has been awarded a training grant for high altitude training in Colombia, South America for the summer. He joined some of his college teammates when he was a student/athlete at Turabo University in Puerto Rico at one of the Olympic Training Centers in Colombia situated at over 6,000 feet and ideal for long distance training.
The VITFF granted Juan a training grant for the purpose of both assisting with further developing his running capability and for making it possible for him to gain valuable technical and philosophical training in the theoretical and practical aspects of high altitude training for use in his capacity as a coach of distance and long distance runners (Juan received his IAAF Level I Coaching Certification last year).
While in Colombia, Juan was granted permission (a requirement of host country’s national track and field federation) of VITFF to compete in the Palmira Half-Marathon (at over 3,000 feet) where he ran the race in 1:13.41 for eighth overall and in his best time since he was a college runner and the best time for a V.I. runners in the past several years.
Robles has won the V.I. Half-Marathon champion for the past five years. His best time in the race was 1:14 when he was running for Turabo Univ. back in 2010. His 1:13 is the best time run by a Virgin Islander since the days of George Jules, Calvin Dallas, Marlon Williams, Wallace Williams. Danny Dickinson has the V.I. record for the half-marathon run in the 90’s when he ran a 1:10 on a St. Croix Course. The fastest half-marathon ever run in the Virgin Islands was 1:06 by Douglas Wakihuri in 1998 when V.I.Pace Runners organized the race from Beeston Hill to Fort Frederik to recognized the Emancipation of Enslaved Africans in the West Indies which took place at the finish line of the race.
TORONTO -Sailor Cy Thompson of St. Thomas carried the U.S. Virgin Islands flag on Friday night, leading the delegation of 18 athletes at the opening ceremony for the Pan Am Games in Toronto.
The USVI , dressed in blue and white, were one of 41 delegations in the Parade of Nations before 45,000 spectators at the sold-out Rogers Centre.
The ceremony, which was produced by Cirque du Soleil, was capped when recently retired NBA leg end Steve Nash, one of the most internationally recognized Canadian athletes of all time, ignited a bow l to transfer the flame to the Games cauldron located at the foot of the CN Tower.
More than 6,000 athletes are participating in the
Games that run through July 26. Story and Photo by Matt Schoch/Virgin Islands Daily News