Tolan gives Olympic Village thumbs up
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil:
Chef de Mission of Jamaica's team to the 2016 Olympic Games, Vishu Tolan, says preparations for the team's full arrival in the Athletes' Village have gone smoothly.
Tolan, who arrived in Rio de Janeiro on Monday, was also pleased with the state of Jamaica's accommodations in light of complaints from other countries about the conditions at the Village.
The Jamaican track and field athletes will depart their pre-Olympics training base at the Linx Hotel this afternoon and meet up with gymnast Toni-Ann Williams, who arrived at the Village yesterday afternoon and swimmers Alia Atkinson and Timothy Wynter, who also move in today.
"Things are pretty good. We got into the village yesterday and it's pretty nice actually. The process went smoothly and we are preparing for the arrival of the Jamaican team tomorrow, but things seem to be moving along nicely," Tolan told The Gleaner.
"So far we have not identified anything, but we also have to be mindful that other countries came in, found problems and they would have rectified those, so we are very thankful for the other countries coming in before us and having these rectified," he laughed.
"Alia (Atkinson) and Timothy (Wynter) have been in Rio for over a week now doing their training and they have been training in the Rio 2016 Olympics training pool, so they are getting very good practice and exposure there."
The swimmers were in fact working out at a pool at a condominium complex close to the Village when they first arrived, but Jamaica Olympic Association president, Mike Fennell, was able to secure a more suitable facility over the past few days.
"Our president was instrumental in speaking to the Local Organising Committee and we were able to get some temporary venue passes for Alia, Timothy and her coach. Traditionally this would not be done, but our president was able to take care of it," said Tolan, who added that he is hoping for a good performance from the entire contingent.
"There is a strong management team in place so I am hoping that we can play our part in guiding and mentoring the athletes. We are hoping that they will be able to go out there and give their best," Tolan said. "They are world beaters and they got here because they are world beaters - that is something we will remind them of, the fact that they got here because they are among the best in the world, not that a spot was given to them. That should certainly motivation for them."
Atkinson will begin competition in the 100m breaststroke on August 7, while Wynter will compete in the men's 100m backstroke on the same day.
Williams will also get her gymnastics competition started on August 7 as well, with track and field getting underway on August 12. Diver Yona Knight-Wisdom will feature in the 3m springboard event on August 15.
- A. L.