Virgin Islands assistants at the London 2012 Olympic Games

Jane Crossman – Essex, England

Jane Crossman – Essex, England

My Olympic journey began 7 years ago when we won the bid to host the Greatest Show on Earth and I registered my interest with LOCOG 2012.

I am an Administrator in the Special Needs department at a local College, but with my 3 wonderful sons now at Uni and beyond, I thought what a fantastic opportunity it would be, to be part of welcoming the world to London.

Being offered the role of Games Maker was a great personal achievement and with the help of work, friends and most importantly my family, I am proud to be assigned to the Virgin Islands delegation. and privileged to meet Lyn, our lovely Chef de Mission and her team.

My Games Maker friends, Kieran, Joe and Karen are also making this an amazing experience and my admiration to the dedication and achievements of the athletes is immense. Good luck everyone!

Karen Stokes

Hello Virgin Islanders, I’m Karen – an NOC assistant at the London 2012 Olympic Games.  I have been assigned to your country and have found the experience an extremely enjoyable one.  Everyone I have met so far has been wonderful, particularly Lyn Reid who has welcomed me and my fellow volunteers with open arms.  It has been a pleasure working with her.  I took part in the Team Welcome Ceremony prior to the official Opening Ceremony and felt very proud to be associated with the Virgin Islands.  Applying for the volunteer programme started three years ago and has been the best thing I have ever done.  It is a unique experience that only a select few are involved with and I am privileged to be one of them.

Away from the Olympics, I work as a Personal Assistant for an accountancy firm, and I run (probably jog really!) and cycle regularly.  I still live and work in Luton where I was born, which is just north of London.  I am very proud of my hometown and support it’s football (soccer) team avidly.  I come from a very close knit family and they all live locally too – that’s my mum, dad, sister and brother.

Joe Richards

Hello Virgin Islands! Two years ago, when the process of getting involved at the London 2012 Olympic Games began, I only hoped of landing the great role that I have been lucky enough to, working with the Virgin Islands Olympic Committee lead by our super Chef de Mission, Lyn Reid.

Having lived in London for 6 years and enjoyed a variety of careers from directing various music shows at MTV, helping run our family business, volunteering in medical settings, to pulling pints in a local east London pub, as well as a keen swimmer and cyclist myself, I am delighted to welcome the world to my home city and be host to the great Olympians of the Virgin Islands.

As assistants to the delegation of athletes and officials while here in the UK, myself Jane, Karen and Keiran aim to make their visit as memorable as possible, and to do everything we can to leave the athletes and their team able focus on their priority – going for Gold!

I really am delighted to be part of the London 2012 Olympics and especially privileged to be able to work with the world class athletes and the Olympic delegation of the fantastic (and especially friendly) Virgin Islands.. go VI!

Kieran Sullivan

Hi Virgin Islanders, My name is Kieran Sullivan and it is my privilege to work as an assistant to your wonderful Olympic Committee during London 2012.

I live in a town called Banbury in the middle of England (near the Cotswold) with my family, wife Denise, daughter Courtney (18), and son Jordon (15) and when I heard about the chance to volunteer for “the Greatest Show on Earth” I couldn’t turn it down. I love all sports and want to help all “our” athletes in any way possible so that they enjoy their best games ever. My message to them all is “PB+” Better than your Best. If they leave London having produced their best ever, I would like to think that I and my other assistant colleagues contributed in some small way and will also leave London having produced my best ever for the VI.

Laverne Jones-Ferrette Qualifies for London Olympics…Again!

Laverne Jones-Ferrette

It was a busy week for the V.I. national record holder in the 100m, 200m and 400m. The Ponce performances, including her 3rd place finish in the 100m in 11.24 is a strong indication that Jones-Ferrette is at least back to earlier form compared to times over the past three years as she continues into her professional outdoor season and it puts her among the top twenty in the world for the event.  The field at Ponce included world-class sprinters: Tianna Madison USA 1st 22.07 (as of Sat. the second fastest time in the world); Janema Tarmoh USA 2nd 22.66; Jones-Ferrette ISV 3rd 22.93; Porsche Lucas Jamaica 23.15; 4th  Simone Face Jamaica 23.17 5th ; Patricia Hall Jamiaca 6th 23.24; Carol Rodriquez Puerto Rico 23.75 7th and Genoiska Cancel Puerto Rico 8th 24.39.


1]  The Ponce Grand Prix is an IAAF Challenge Meet which extends invitations to top world competitors preparing for and/or looking for qualifying marks for the London Olympics.

2] The Ponce Grand Prix presents a clear picture of how track and field has evolved in Puerto Rico.  On Saturday night, the Paquito Montaner Stadium had 11,000 plus people show up to see the last event, not to mention the thousands watching the meet on TV, the 400m hurdles when their countryman Javier Colson ran a world leading 48.00!  V.I. National Team Member Leslie Murray competes in the 400mh and at that level, and he is making his attempt at the London qualifier, he is less than a half second from doing so.
"This race is very special for me and it gives me a lot of motivation in my preparation for the Olympics. This is my hometown and I am really happy to run a fast race for my people. I will continue to work hard to hear my national anthem sung in London," Culson told a frenzied crowd after the race.
3] Puerto Rico is closest to home that Laverne Joes-Ferrette has competed as a professional. The only other option she or any of the half-dozen V.I. world-class track and field athletes would have would be the British Virgin Islands which has a certified IAAF track. While in Ponce she participated in a live interview on local St. Croix radio station/s.

4] Jones-Ferrette leaves for Daegu,South Korea on Sunday to compete in the Colorful Daegu Championship. Her performances increase the number of V.I. National Team Members who have qualified for the London Olympics to four:

Tabarie Henry 400m (“A” Standard)

Laverne Jones 100m and 200m (“A” Standard)

Allison Peter 100m and 200m (“A” Standard)

Muhammad Halim Triple Jump (“B” Standard)

5] This is historic for the Virgin Islands as it will be the first time that this many V.I. track and field athletes will qualify for the Olympics and compete in so many events since the existing [very stiff] qualifying standards have been instituted. It will be a challenge for any country in the world as small as the Virgin Islands to have as many qualified athletes in track and field in the London Olympic Games.

V.I. sailor Thompson qualifies for Olympics

Cy Thompson

After a disappointing finish at the 2011 Pan American Games in October, U.S. Virgin Islands sailor Cy Thompson flew directly to Australia to compete in three prestigious regattas. The main reason for his trip to the other side of the world was to qualify for the 2012 Olympics.

Earlier this week, Thompson did just that.

Thompson, a St. Thomas native, finished 56th overall out of the 147 sailors in the Men’s Laser Division at the 2011 International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Championships, which were held in Perth, Australia from Dec. 3-18.

Thompson, 23, earned one of the Olympic berths available to the top 36 countries represented at the World Championships. To date, he is the only USVI sailor to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London.

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V.I. long jumper Halim qualifies for 2012 Olympics

Muhammad Halim

There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.

Halim traveled back to Cornell University, his alma mater, for a homecoming meet last weekend and registered career bests in the long jump and triple jump events. The Cornell faithful were on their feet every time Halim started down the runway and the crowd exploded when the results were revealed on the scoreboard.

“It’s a huge arena and everyone was going crazy,” the 25-year-old Halim said Friday. “It was definitely a special moment. I was surrounded by old friends and coaches, so to have those kinds of jumps in that environment – it couldn’t have happened any better for me.”

Halim tallied a distance of 16.85 meters in the triple jump, which set a new USVI record, stadium record and personal best. More importantly, the jump met the “B” Standard set by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and it qualified him for the 2012 Olympic Games.

V.I. officials told that Olympic athletes need more money, better facilities

Olympic hopefuls from the Virgin Islands need more and better facilities, more money and better coordination with the government if they hope to compete consistently at an international level. Yet even though they lack resources, Virgin Islands athletes consistently surprise people the world over with their competitiveness.

That message was repeated many times as representatives of each of the 22 federations of the Virgin Islands Olympic Committee gave a five-minute speech in front of other federation heads and Gov. John deJongh Jr. and other government officials on Saturday morning at Government House in Christensted.

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V.I. representatives to attend the Athens Olympic Youth Camp

The Virgin Islands Olympic Committee recently announced the selection of Sacha Gumbs, a tennis player and Muhammad Abiff, a wrestler,  as the V.I. representatives to attend the Athens Olympic Youth Camp (OYC) to be held during the Olympics this Summer in Athens Greece August 11-26, 2004,  .

The OYC, organized and funded by the Athens Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (ATHOC), is a cross-cultural exchange that will bring together young people from around the world. They will participate with their peers in learning about other nations and their customs and to share the experience of the Olympic Games.

The program is divided into three sections over 16 days. The youth will participate in activities in Athens, outside of Athens and on a one-day cruise to the island of Saronikos. They will attend the Opening and Closing Ceremonies as well as Olympic Games competitions, observe athletes training, visit archaeological areas and tour Ancient Olympia.

Youth applicants between the ages 16-18 were required to submit information about their sport and academic achievements, their leadership activities and an essay on “Olympic Spirit” and to be interviewed by the VIOC Executive Board..

The first Olympic Youth Camp was at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden, when King Gustav V invited 1,500 Boy Scouts from five countries to pitch their tents next to the Olympic Stadium to provide help for the V Olympiad. The camps have been a regular feature of the Olympic Games since 1952 in Helenski, Finland, with Melbourne and Los Angeles being the exceptions.