UPDATE: Cayman athlete Dean Travers will be withdrawing from the Giant Slalom event at the Winter Youth Olympic Games. His knee injury has not healed as fast as we hoped and he experienced a great deal of pain when he attempted to ski. Dean and his coach will be leaving the Games Village to return home for medical attention to his injury.
The Cayman Islands Olympic Committee (CIOC) will be sending a team to participate in the Inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria from January 13th – 22nd 2012. The games are an international multi-sport event for winter sports, held under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) were first held in Singapore in 2010. The games will be held every four years in staggered summer and winter events consistent with the current Olympic Games format. The idea of such an event was introduced by Johann Rosenzopf from Austria in 1998. On July 6, 2007 the IOC approved the creation of a youth version of the Olympic Games. The costs of hosting the event will be shared by the IOC and the host city, while the travel costs of athletes and coaches are paid by the IOC.
The Games will also feature cultural exchange programs and opportunities for participants to meet Olympic athletes. Innsbruck 2012 aims to inspire young people around the world to embrace, embody and express the Olympic Values of Excellence, Respect and Friendship. Olympic traditions will meet modernity. The vibrant youth culture of Innsbruck will create an ideal atmosphere for welcoming the world and making these Youth Olympic Games an unforgettable experience. Participating athletes must be between the ages of 14 and 18.
Caymanian athlete Dean Travers will represent the Cayman Islands at the games, following in the footsteps of his older brother Dow who represented Cayman at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Dean is a freshman at Aspen High School, and he competes for the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club. He began skiing at age 2, when his family began vacationing at Beaver Creek. His mother, Mary Ann Travers, was born in England and raised in Montreal and the Caribbean Islands. Dean's father, Anthony "Tony" Travers, practices law in the Cayman Islands. The family has a home in the Cayman Islands where they at varying times each year.
The support team for Dean will be Jennifer Powell as Chef de Mission, Jake Zamansky as coach and Dow Travers as an additional official to assist the coach on the slopes. Jennifer is presently employed with the CIOC as an Administrative Officer, and being a young Chef de Mission fulfills the ideals of the Youth Games. Dow will bring a wealth of experience to the slopes in support of his brother, along with coach Jake. CIOC President Donald McLean will attend in support of the team.
Dean will compete in the Alpine skiing event Giant Slalom, which is scheduled for January 19th 2012. Dean took the bronze medal in the 2009 giant slalom at the Whistler Cup, and the gold medal in the super-G race in 2011 at the Whistler Cup in British Columbia. The CIOC is confident that Dean will prove to be a respectable representative of the Cayman Islands in his sport.
The Opening Ceremony for the Games will take place on Friday January 13th at the Bergisel Stadium from 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm, with the Closing Ceremony planned for January 22nd from 6:45 pm – 8:00 pm at the Medals Plaza, Maria-Theresien-Strabe.
For more information visit www.innsbruck2012.com/en.
Prepared by: Annie Mae Roffey, Chief Operating Officer, CIOC