Athletes Camp Ends Ahead of Olympic Games Opening Ceremony

J'Maal Alexander, left and Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, with Aston Primary School children following the BVI's Olympic Delegation welcoming ceremony in the Aston City Hall

LONDON, JULY 25BVI London 2012 Olympic Games sprinters Tahesai Harrigan-Scott and J’Maal Alexander, wrapped up their training camp in Aston on Tuesday and moved into the Olympic Village later in the evening, ahead of Friday’s Olympic Games opening ceremonies.

Besides training for the preliminary rounds of their respective 100m on Aug 3 and 4, Harrigan-Scott and Alexander attended a variety of functions. After moving to the Olympic Games Village, Harrigan-Scott attended the BVI Art Show held at the BVI London House on Tuesday night, while Alexander attended the joint Rotary Clubs of Stevenage dinner on Monday.

Both athletes and other BVI Olympic Games delegation officials were welcomed to the city of Aston (pop 800) where they stayed with host families, during a reception in the Aston Town Hall on Thursday night.

BVI Olympic Committee officials and the athletes had an opportunity to thank officials from Hertsforshire County, the City of Aston and various host families and Dave and Shirley Parker, who not only coordinated the village accommodations for the Olympic Games delegation, but that of the Enis Adams Primary School Hawks Dance Group as well.

In May 2009, the BVI Olympic Committee was the first signatory a MOU with Hertsfordshire County to have its athletes use the county for their pre Games training and were later joined by St. Kitts and Nevis and Afghanistan.

In May 2010, Shirley was appointed as the BVI Olympic Delegation Attaché. Since her appointment, she has worked with BVI London House Director Kedrick Malone and other staff to coordinate BVI athletes visits to the county, including Eric “Shaq” Matthias’ training for the 2010 CAC Games; hosting the 2010 Youth Olympic Games Delegation on their stop over and the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games Delegation, who spent two days in Aston on their return from the Isle of Man.

Discussions about the training camp in Aston, began with a conversation with Rose Mula during the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro. Mrs. Mula was on hand during last Thursday’s welcoming ceremony and was thanked for her role in getting the ball rolling.

Prior to the Aston welcoming ceremony that also included performances by the Enis Adams Primary School Hawks Dance Group, Harrigan-Scott and Alexander competed in the Welsh International in Cardiff, Wales, last Wednesday, in cold, damp, windy and rainy conditions—weather more suited for the Winter Olympic Games.

“I felt good at the beginning of the race but the transition was awful and messed up the rest of my race,” explained Harrigan-Scott who had an unlooked for 12.03 seconds run. “The wind was pretty strong but I wasn’t trying to think about it. The time wasn’t the best, but it’s a race before the Olympics,” added Harrigan-Scott whose season has been affected by an injury and was competing in only her second race since the Ponce Gran Prix in early May, where she re-aggravated the injury.

“The weather wasn’t ideal weather for a sprinter—it was very windy and cold. I just have to continue working on my weakness and make some changes before the next race. Can’t be stressed about the time,” she said. “I just have to put this race behind me and move forward from here.”

Alexander who competed in the IAAF World Jr. Championships in Barcelona where he had a non advancing 10.80 seconds run prior to his arrival in London, turned in a time of 11.01 into a significant headwind in his heat.

Harrigan-Scott—a 2008 Beijing Olympic Games 100m semifinalist—will face the starters gun in the preliminary rounds of her pet event at 10:40 a.m. on Aug 3. Alexander makes his debut in the 100m prelims at 10:00 a.m. on Aug 4.

There are 10,490 athletes and over 6,000 officials accredited to the London Olympic Games from 204 countries and will reside in the Olympic Games Village.