Young kite-surfer dreams of representing Antigua & Barbuda

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One young athlete has his sight set on representing the twin-island state at next year’s youth Olympics in Argentina.
The 14-year-old kite-surfer, Tiger Tyson, trains almost every day and with the help of his coach and former Olympian, Michael Gebhardt, he has been working hard to achieve his dream.
“I started because of my dad. After school I would just go kiting every day, have lessons and then I went independent; [I] started going out by myself and I loved it so I just kept on going. I started training with Andre Phillip just over a year ago and we’re training for freestyle. So yes I have been training with Andre so we are friends and everything,” he said. 
Gebhardt spoke highly of Tiger’s ability and drive for the sport, adding he is one of the hardest working young athletes he had ever worked with.
“The beauty of what I do in coaching kids is that I can sort of choose who I want to work with and when I find someone who has a lot of talent, very disciplined, self-motivated and clever, these are the
guys I try to spend time with. I live in the Dominican Republic but I am American. I am a retired professional and Olympic wind surfer who has gone to five Olympics, and won a couple of medals and was at the 80s Olympics with Eli Fuller from this island,” the coach said.
“This kid, at 14 years old, has got the concentration of most 25 year olds. There are a lot of kids that play so many video games that their ability to concentrate is like 30 seconds and then after that they lose the plot but this kid, all he wants to do is kite,” he added. 
The athlete’s father, Mike Tyson, is in full support of his son’s dreams of representing Antigua & Barbuda.
“Originally, as a father you have these expectations of what you want them to do later on in life. I am actually a yacht captain and I’ve been coming here for 32 years and a resident here for 13 years; and I had it in mind that he could get into the industry as the other kids are doing around here as well,” he said.
“I asked him two years ago, what he wanted to do in life and that the most important thing is that you enjoy what you’re doing because you will be successful when you make a career of it. Have a happy life, the main thing is to be happy,” he added.
Tiger trains at a number of beaches across Antigua with the most popular being Half Moon Bay and Jabberwock Beach. The Island academy student is however, not yet a citizen of Antigua & Barbuda, something his father hopes will change shortly.

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