Ministerial Statement In Senate By Minister Dr Ernest Peets: Last week the Premier announced that he would invite Her Excellency the Governor to designate 18th October as a public holiday in recognition of Flora Duffy’s extraordinary success in the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo and the World Triathlon Championship.

I think we are all aware of the tremendous joy and pride Flora’s win has meant for Bermuda. At a time of such challenges and difficulties, seeing our own on the world stage performing like no one before had the effect of bringing us together as a community and as a people. Such is the power of sport. And such has been the power of Flora Duffy. 

I believe we all agree that this is a fitting tribute to recognise her historic accomplishment.  

As we know Flora Duffy has been triathlon world Champion and ranked number 1 in the world. However, she is now also Bermuda’s first Olympic Gold Medallist, making Bermuda the smallest country to win Olympic Gold ever, demonstrating that talent, grit and determination can lead to the ultimate global success even for a small nation. She is an inspiration to Bermuda and a role model for all. Her dedication and hard work is a shining example of what can be accomplished.

Flora brought Bermuda’s second Olympic medal, the first being, as we know, Clarence Hill who won a bronze medal for heavyweight boxing in 1976.

Flora arrives in Bermuda on 11 October to compete in the World Triathlon Sprint and Relay Championships. On that day, she will be welcomed at the airport by a special delegation including myself, the Bermuda Olympic Association and the Bermuda Triathlon Association. 

A motorcade will escort Ms Duffy from the airport to Cabinet Office, where she will meet with the Premier for a special presentation. The motorcade route will include a drive through the City of Hamilton.

On Flora Duffy Day itself, on October 18th, we hope to see the Island participate in celebratory activities. While we have considered a large street event, the current covidenvironment renders this inopportune and we will focus on activities that are safe for all concerned.

We expect to include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, an announcement of the honours to be bestowed on Flora for her achievements and a firework display by the Corporation of Hamilton.

The proposed renaming of a fitting location is subject to final approvals and this will be further announced to the public shortly.

It is hard to do justice to such a national accomplishment during a pandemic. The fact that the Olympics took place at all was in itself an achievement. We very much look forward to welcoming Flora back home to celebrate her win with her, and to share in our national pride for her achievement. 

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