Prime Minister Philip Davis’s Remarks at the 2024 CARIFTA Aquatics Championship Closing Ceremony

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

As we close the curtain on this CARIFTA Aquatics Championship, I’m nudged into a sea of reflections. I’m not just your Prime Minister tonight; I’m a swim dad turned swim granddad who’s seen more pool water than rain, cheering on from the sidelines, experiencing every heart-stopping finish and, yes, even those face-palm-worthy false starts.

Over the past few days, we’ve seen athletes from 25 nations dive into the pool with the kind of passion, determination, and sportsmanship that not only brings a tear to the eye but also an uncontrollable urge to cheer at the top of our lungs – even if it’s for that competitor who just edged out our own by a fingertip. The CARIFTA Aquatics Championship is far more than a competition; it’s a jubilant festival of unity, friendship, and that bottled-up Caribbean spirit that refuses to be dampened, not even by a splash from the diving board.

I am swollen with pride for Team Bahamas. Oh, what a journey it’s been – securing victory for the 6th consecutive time is no small feat. Our athletes, with their remarkable talent and dedication, embody the spirit of excellence that defines our beautiful nation. This is a victory not just for the swimmers but for every coach who’s ever held a stopwatch, every parent who’s mastered the art of towel-drying, and indeed, for every grandparent who’s learned to use a smartphone just to capture that perfect photo finish.

Let us also extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who played a part in the success of this championship. From the dedicated organizers to the tireless volunteers, from the enthusiastic fans in the stands to the families whose support knows no bounds – you are the true backbone of this event. To our athletes, like Donald Saunders Jr. and Sara Dowden who’ve shown us the true meaning of courage and resilience, you’ve not only competed with heart but have inspired us with your strength. Your journeys remind us that the human spirit is unbreakable, capable of rising from the depths of adversity to the peaks of glory your parents are proud.

As long as I have the privilege of serving as your Prime Minister, know this – when you, our athletes, commit to doing your part, showing up, diving in, and giving it your all, your country will meet you in the middle. We will be there, cheering you on, supporting your dreams, and providing the wind beneath your wings (or fins, if you will).

So, as we bid farewell to this year’s CARIFTA Aquatics Championship, let’s take with us the memories, the laughs, the cheers, and the undeniable proof that when we come together, magic happens in and out of the pool. To our athletes, our future champions, and our pride. Keep swimming, keep dreaming, and remember, the entire Bahamas is with you, every stroke of the way.

Thank you, one and all, for making this event a symbol of hope and celebration. Until we meet again, may your strokes be strong, your finishes swift, and may your swim caps never go missing when it matters most.

Good night Bahamas!