By Carlena Knight
Antigua and Barbuda has once again etched its name in the sporting history books as national sprinter, Cejhae Greene, has been nominated for an award at the Pan American Sports Awards.
The inaugural event which is scheduled to take place on December 13th in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will see Olympic, World Champions, rising stars and the most inspirational performances from the Lima 2019 Pan American Games being honoured.
More than 40 athletes and coaches from Lima 2019 have been nominated across nine categories.
Greene, who was one of two athletes from Antigua and Barbuda to earn a medal, will be a part of the best inspirational male athlete category.
The other nominees for the inaugural Panam Sports Awards are:
Best Male Athlete- Anderson Peters (GRN), Francisco Barretto (BRA), Mijain Lopez (CUB), Nicholas Paul (TTO), Ruben Limardo (VEN).
Best Female Athlete- Chloe Dygert (USA), Delfina Pignatiello (ARG), Paola Longoria (MEX), Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM), Yulimar Rojas (VEN).
Best Men’s Team- Athletics 4x400m Relay (COL), Baseball (PUR), Basketball (ARG), Beach Volleyball (CHI).
Best Women’s Team – Artistic Swimming (CAN), Handball (BRA), Hockey (ARG), Softball (USA).
NextGen (U-20 Male) Alison dos Santos (BRA), Andrew Abruzzo (USA), Daniel Restrepo (COL), Gabriel Rosillo (CUB), Patricio Font (MEX).
NextGen (U-20 Female)- Adriana Diaz (PUR), Daniella Rosas (PER), Delfina Pignatiello (ARG), Evita Griskenas (USA), Katherin Nuevo (CUB), Yenny Sinisterra (COL).
Changemaker- Marco Oneto (CHI), Mariana Pajon (COL), Jennifer Dahlgren (ARG), Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM).
Panam Sports Values-Claudio Biekarck (BRA), Julio Castillo (ECU), Krystina Alogbo (CAN), Luis Scola (ARG), Nathan Adrian (USA) and Best Coach-Deysiana Mena (CRC), Gabriel Aramburu (PER), Ivan Bautista (MEX), Rolando Acebal (CUB), Stephen Francis (JAM).
Greene, a Pam Am bronze medalist who was featured on the Good Morning JoJo Sports show on Friday, spoke on how it feels to be nominated for such an award.
“I am ecstatic, so happy because sometimes we get so caught up in what we’re doing that you don’t really see how much you’ve progressed. I mean a couple of years ago I was running fast, but I hadn’t gotten nominated for such an award, so for the Pan American, for the people in such a great organisation and such a big spectrum to recognise what this little boy from Antigua is doing, it brings real joy to my heart and I know most definitely my family and Antigua as well because as you know, it’s only a handful of us. How many people are in Antigua, only a hundred thousand of us, so if we reach there, we’re competing against millions.”
Greene also mentioned what he believes it takes to be classed in that category.
“I think they look at your past and your future and what’s been happening. For example, when I went to Panama, I was the first medalist in like 12 years, so you think about that, over a decade of not winning anything in itself. It’s like alright he did something. Like something inspired him and he did something to inspire others now… he already did something that hadn’t been done in over a decade.
“So, it’s a little bit about your hard work, going out there and executing and doing your best; actually getting it done and also being a good role model.”
Despite the many accolades, the 24-year old Willikies native says that he is not swell-headed and remains humble.
“Sometimes I’m a little nonchalant towards it because in my head I’m still Cejhae, you know, I’m still the boy from Willikies village. It doesn’t matter who comes up to me, I am still going to greet you just like Cejhae, so that’s just my natural disposition. Persons would probably be like ‘oh my gosh that’s Cejhae,’ and in my head I am just like ‘just come man it’s alright,’ so I just got used to it, I guess.”
Voting for the awards is closed, but persons interested in watching the live event can do so by logging onto the Panam Sports Channel on Panamsports.org.