Errol Kerr Honored To Carry Jamaica's Flag In 2010 Winter Olympic Opening Ceremonies
Sponsors Show Strong Support For Jamaica's Team Of One
VANCOUVER/ ATLANTA - February 12, 2010 - Arriving in Vancouver on Thursday, February 11, 2010, Jamaica's Errol Kerr made the trek from the airport to the athlete's village. As the only athlete from Jamaica to qualify for any sport, he would be his nation's sole representative for the 2010 Winter Olympics. This was the start of a very special experience.
His first day would be filled with activities. Go here, go there; be on time; and smile. The traditional flag raising ceremony on his arrival day, additional preparations for tonight's opening ceremonies and lots more.
"No problem," said Kerr. "The opportunity to participate in the Olympics is a great honor. I am excited and ready to represent Jamaica."
In late January, International Ski Federation (FIS) officials notified the Jamaica Ski Federation that Errol Kerr met the governing body's criteria that qualified him among the top 32 skier cross athletes in the world to compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Kerr qualified to participate in the 2010 Winter Olympics based on his worldwide ranking and points earned from competition in FIS-sanctioned events. Since December 2009, he has participated in ski cross events in Austria, France, Canada and the United States.
As Kerr moved through a very busy first day, he reflected on the days ahead.
"Many refer to me as a team of one," added Kerr. "Technically, that's correct. Yet, as I practice over the next week and when I step into the start gate on February 21st, I'll know that I'm there because of the incredible team that's in my corner. My family, coach Eric Holmer, my tremendous sponsors, the Jamaican government, the National Brotherhood of Skiers and many others helped me get here. I want them to know that just as I ski for Jamaica, I am skiing for them, too. I extend tremendous thanks to them for their sacrifices and the belief in me and my dreams."
Sponsors Show Strong Support For Kerr
Kerr's sponsors include Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, Spyder, Porter Sports and Briko and the Jamaica Ski Federation. Each sponsor sent a special message of pre-competition support.
"Because Alpine Meadows is Errol's home mountain and training ground, our employees know him personally, so everyone takes great pride and ownership in his performance," said Deanna Gescheider, Director of Marketing and Sales at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort. "We're excited to watch him compete in ski cross representing Alpine Meadows at the Olympics - as well as experience everything that makes it the world's greatest display of sports," she added.
Spyder VP Sales and Marketing Russ Rowan added: "We've been supporting Errol from the beginning of his quest. We're stoked Errol's dream led him to Vancouver, and all of us at Spyder are rooting for him from the start gate to the finish line. Go get 'em Errol!"
Porter Sports continued the well-wishes: “We at Porters are excited for Errol and wish him all the best at the 2010 Olympics," said Marketing Chica Kasey Wiese.
Briko North America's GM, Kirsten Andreae, followed with these words of encouragement: "We are just so excited for Errol. Being at the Olympics, carrying the flag for Jamaica, it is such a privilege. And he is without a doubt, the right guy for the job. We could not be happier for him. Go Errol!"
Well wishes from several Jamaican officials and Jamaican Ski Federation President Richard Salm rounded out the words of support.
To Represent Jamaica — A Tremendous Honor
As the sole Jamaican athlete qualifying for the 2010 Winter Olympics, Kerr will serve as his nation's flag bearer during tonight's opening ceremonies.
"I have spoken many times of the special significance of skiing for Jamaica, my father's homeland, my country," said Kerr. "When I carry the flag during tonight's opening ceremonies, I recognize that such a task is a tremendous privilege. I will carry the flag with honor and participate in the Olympics Games with the competitive spirit Jamaican athletes are known for worldwide."
His participation also marks Jamaica's return to the Winter Olympics after an eight-year absence. Jamaican athletes participated in 2002 Olympic Games (Salt Lake City, Utah, United States); however the nation did not send a team to the 2006 Winter Olympic Games (Turin, Italy).
The 2010 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXI Olympic Winter Games or the 21st Winter Olympics, will be held on February 12-28, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with some events held in the resort town of Whistler nearby. Kerr's ski cross events will be held in Cypress, approximately half an hour from Vancouver.