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Olympic Day with a twist – NOC to commemorate special day with hike

By Neto Baptiste

The Antigua and Barbuda National Olympic Committee (ABNOC) will celebrate Olympic Day 2021 in unique fashion on Sunday.

The body’s Technical Development Officer Charles Bellot, said the NOC will forego its usual Olympic Day Run and will, instead, host a hike on the southern end of the island to commemorate this year’s celebrations.

“We celebrate Olympic Day on the 23rd of June every year internationally and in Antigua and Barbuda we observe it on the Sunday or most convenient to June 23rd and last week Sunday was Father’s Day, so we’re not competing with that, so we are having it this week. We are moving away from the Olympic Day run because now Olympic Day is more based on three pillars which are move, learn, discover and we are trying to have more inclusivity; so the present situation lends itself perfect to trying a hike this time,” he said.

Bellot described how much of a rigorous hike participants will endure on Sunday.

“We are gathering Galleon at Beach and officially it’s 5am but you can’t be there at five without breaking curfew, so we are looking at 5:15 or 5:30 for a 5:45 or 6am, the latest, start. We are going up Jones Valley Trail through the cemetery to the top, cross over the road and join Carpenter’s Trail. If you still have energy, some people will have the option of [turning] left to go Pillars, or go back to Galleon Beach. We are going to reward you, if you survive that, with a grab and go breakfast,” he said.

Bellot said the NOC is anticipating participation by some of the country’s elite athletes who will be on island for the event. He further revealed that additional plans could see a number of the country’s former Olympians being honoured through an awards ceremony.

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