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Aug 16, 2016

Is cheering for non-Belizean athletes hurting our own?

Opal Enriquez

Biles, who has Belizean parentage, has accepted an offer of a visit for her and her teammates to the Jewel by the Belize Tourism Board, although details are to be worked out.  Today’s Olympic watch party” was covered by a crew from American news channel CNN.  But, is the local cheering for Biles, like for Marion Jones in 2000, detracting from advancing sport in Belize? According to Enriquez and Simplis-Barrow, Belizeans have their own sporting dreams which must be nurtured.


Opal Enriquez, Cousin of Simone Biles

“I would think it doesn’t detract, I think it enhances. I think that what it is, we are shining a positive light on Belize, and because of Simone and the athletes that we have at the Olympics, it gives the kids a chance to dream, and to dream big, knowing if Simone can do it and Katy Sealy can do it and all the other athletes that we have representing us at the Olympics, then they can do it, too. So there’s nothing wrong with taking the time to celebrate and work on your craft as much as you can, because anything is possible; if it wasn’t we wouldn’t be here right now.”


Kim Simplis-Barrow

Kim Simplis-Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children

“I just think that we in Belize, we have so many talented, talented athletes, and we need to start really honouring them, and focusing our energy and efforts in getting them on those platforms. I think that it is possible; it’s just that we need to start focusing on and what we can be bring to the table, and I know that we can bring a lot to the table.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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6 Responses for “Is cheering for non-Belizean athletes hurting our own?”

  1. fedup says:

    Start training the babies and have them ready for 2028!! Properly invest in your people, Belize!

  2. Dave says:

    Yes, but all the athletes representing Belize don’t even live in Belize. They live in first world countries where they have access to proper facilities and equipment and a culture that promotes excellence. Here in Belize we have a culture of mediocrity. We do not promote excellence and we do not have the proper facilities and equipment for our athletes.

  3. Yanz says:

    Y Use ” knowing if Simone can do it and Katy Sealy can do it and all the other athletes that we have representing us at the Olympics”, they mention the non-Belizeans but not the name of our Belizeans that are out there. Y cheer for the hardwork of another country instead of uplifting and working towards our own glory not the glory and hardwork of another country. Start praise our own first.

  4. Mario Vasquez says:

    so did this viewing party started at 8:04 am to watch Kathy Sealy and Brandon Jones compete too? I doubt it. This is really hypocrytical. Also Simone is not representing Belize even her belizean grandmother is there at every event with a USA flag scarf around her neck singing the US anthem everytime Biles have won Gold. This is really a huge disrespect for our belizean athletes who have gone against all odds to represent us. How is this encouraging to belizean athletes that not even our leaders are fanatical about them representing the country as they are for the world’s greatest Gymnast of all time with belizean parentage representing another country.

  5. Al says:

    Miss barrow, how long has your government been in power and nothing has been done? Huh? Not singling you out by no means, because the “other” party is not exactly helpful either. But simply pointing out that thats all we ever hear. When will our born,bredded and homegrown belizeans see the fruits of their struggles being rewarded? We stand behind our football team because they are HOMEGROWN. Win or lose we feel with them because we can relate. We cannot relate with foreign born belizeans no matter how hard we try to be patriotic. Simple fact. Our local athletes need to know that after high school, their talents do not need to be put aside.

  6. Just being honest says:

    Can we please just call Kim Simpliss Barrow what she is….”first groupie” “first attention seeker” “first celebrity wannabe” Simone Biles has been a great athlete for years…now that cameras come to Belize all the wannabe celebrities appear to support. Sorry, we dont buy your bull. No one has for years. How long has your husband been PM??? You Ms Wannabe Celebrity are a huge part of the problem.
    We will wait for the audit of all the money you raised ‘for charity”!

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