POSTED: June 24th 2009

Romany apologizes for canceling Caribbean Games

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA: Trinidad and Tobago NOC (TTOC) president Larry Romany has sent apologies to all regional NOCs and the Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs) for canceling the inaugural edition of the Caribbean Games 2009 due to an outbreak of swine flu. 

Romany said: "At the time we did not envision a cancellation scenario but one of treatment and containment. However, just two weeks ago, cases emerged at three Venue areas, UWI SPEC for indoor volleyball, Tobago for tennis and Chaguanas for beach volleyball. In addition, UWI was also being used for the Village.

"There was a regional indoor volleyball championship held at UWI SPEC during the first week of June and, immediately following this tournament, cases were suspected and the staff at UWI SPEC had to be quarantined. Concerns were heightened."

Gary Hunt, Minister of Sport, made the announcement last Friday just three weeks before the launch of the games was scheduled to be held.

Romany clarified the decision to the NOCs explaining that more than 3,000 people from 40 countries were expected to attend the games. Consequently the communal environment would find 1,500 athletes and officials living and eating together and maximizing the potential for the virus to dramatically spread in this situation.

"I am sorry for all inconveniences resulting from the decision taken but please be assured that the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic movement remain resolute in our support of Caribbean Games and what it represents. It is a painful scenario but one that I believe had to be made in the best interest of the well-being of every single athlete, coach, official, volunteer and supporter," Romany added.

He also mentioned that since the flu broke out in Mexico the TTOC has been studying ways with medical advisors to safeguard the games’ environment and precautions to be taken. The local organizing committee and the TTOC have strived to build sports facilities and an Olympic Village environment that would have demonstrated the Caribbean’s technical abilities to organize such an event.

Romany added, "It would have demonstrated our abilities as a people and a region, to successfully put on a multi-sport event.”

The inaugural Caribbean Games 2009 were scheduled to be held from 12-19 July. There is no mention of the next edition.

Keywords · Larry Romany · Caribbean Games

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