Chasing The Bahamian Sunset

L-R.  World Record Holder Usain Bolt and Bahamian Olympian Chris Brown  

World-Class Athletes Gather in Nassau for the IAAF/BTC World Relays

This past weekend (May 1-3), with over 15,000 sports fans and some 100 journalists in attendance, The Islands Of The Bahamas played host to over 600 athletes representing nearly 40 countries all vying for record setting times, gold medals, and the coveted Summer Olympics qualification at the IAAF World Relays. 

Teams from The United States, Jamaica, Nigeria, Germany, Australia, and Kenya all basked in the glory of placing, while others were left with the determination and drive to outperform themselves for the next World Relays, and officials have confirmed that the IAAF Relays event will again be held in The Bahamas in 2017.

The Islands Of The Bahamas continues to be regarded as a leader in Sports Tourism, hosting events like the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl and the Pure Silk LPGA tournament.  Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe, Minister of Tourism for The Bahamas, commented, “We love hosting the IAAF World Relays.  It is an outstanding addition to the Bahamian sports tourism product.”

Besides coming for the array of competitive sporting events, The Bahamas is where many athletes slow down and embrace complete relaxation outside the stadium.  Regardless of their placement, all of the athletes will enjoy kicking back as they soak up the warm Bahamian sun and cool off in the crystal blue waters. 

In a press conference held during the event, world record holder, Usain Bolt noted that he was in The Bahamas to relax and then compete. He said that he loved the energy of The Bahamas. “It is the energy. The best thing about coming to different places is to come to hear the energy from the crowd. The people are really wonderful and they always show me a lot of love and that’s my favorite part of it,” he said. Asked about the probability of his return to The Bahamas for vacation he responded, “For sure, without a doubt.”

Bolt’s sentiments were shared by every athlete approached with the same inquiry, including American Olympian and former ‘world’s fastest’, Michael Johnson, who exclaimed, “I’ve been here for a few days, and it was a great opportunity for me to do absolutely nothing… and it’s a great place to do just that.”

Frank Fredricks of Namibia, who won silver medals in numerous international championships including the Olympics, said he was looking forward to doing some shopping while he was in The Bahamas. “I have many Bahamian friends, and I take every opportunity I can to come and visit,” he said. “I was here last year with my wife, but I didn’t get much opportunity to do a lot except relax on the beach. But this weekend, I want to explore and go to the neighborhoods to see what the local people eat and see what I can buy from there.”

Of course, native Bahamian Olympian and Team Bahamas Captain, Chris Brown, shared in the message to his peers, stating, “I want my colleagues to go back and tell all their friends and family that they enjoyed the food, weather, and that they met some of the friendliest people in the world.  I want them to be able to enjoy and relax during their down time, because everyone leaves The Bahamas feeling like a champion’. 

Visitors are still the singing praises of this successful event, which raked in millions of dollars in publicity. The Relays were also broadcast in over 100 countries through live streaming.

Media Contact: Anita Johnson-Patty | Bahamas Ministry of Tourism | ajohnson@bahamas.com