Nevis? first female Olympian returns home
Nevis? first female Olympian, 19 year old Meritza Williams, returned home and was welcomed at the Charlestown Pier by Deputy Premier of Nevis and Minister of Sports Hon. Hensley Daniel, Junior Minister Hon. Carlisle Powell and her first coach, Nevis? first male Olympian Mr. Kurvin Wallace.
?Congratulations and welcome back to Nevis. I am sure you have done Nevis proud, our first female Olympian going that far. I want to congratulate you for reaching this far.
?As you continue your athletic journey, you are likely to go much further. All the best and I join with all of Nevis in saying congratulations and wish you all the best for the future,? Mr. Daniel said.
Mr. Powell echoed similar sentiments. ?Welcome back to Nevis and congrats! You have the Olympic experience now so it only gets better so congratulations you did well. I hope the experience serves you good in the future,? he said.
Shortly after, accompanied by her mother Ms. Lolita Williams who had joined the welcoming party, Ms. Williams was whisked away to meet with Premier of Nevis Hon. Joseph Parry at his Bath Hotel office where she was warmly received.
While he extended congratulations to the athlete, the Premier registered his love for athletics and said it was important for the people of Nevis to be reminded of their sporting prowess.
?I have always been a fan of athletics. When I was 13, I had the school record for 440 yards so I always credit myself and my family as athletes and so I am always interested in athletics wherever?
?I thought, to be specific, small island fantastic talent on the island of Nevis but we have so many Elquimedo, Derrick Parry, Stuart Williams and it?s just for us to remind people that we can do it,? he said.
Meantime, Ms. Williams told the Department of Information, that the entire Olympic experience was great. She said though she had, had some nervous moments, the Beijing experience would serve her well.
The history making athlete also spoke of the many advantages to be had in sports in particular track and field.
?In track and field you have a lot of opportunities. You can get scholarships, you can go pro you can run for money and you can get a lot of traveling done, you can go all over the world through track. I know many people dream right now to travel all over the world. [They should] have faith in God and try their best in what they do and train hard [and] they will succeed.
?I learnt that track can take you very far in life. Most of all when you go out on the track you just have to have faith and God will help you through it,? she said and added, ?right now I am on off season, so I?m just here for vacation and I plan to be with my family.?
In response to a question, Ms. Lolita Williams said it was a joyous feeling to see her daughter in a track and field race alongside world class athletes at the Olympics.
?It felt good to see her take part in the Olympics because the night before that, I saw her on ESPN running at the Poland games. So watching her two night straight, it felt good. I had already shed some tears when she came from Poland [for] everything that we went through before and to see that she made it to the Olympics. So I was trying to be joyful at that moment,? she said.
Ms. Williams will be on vacation till she leaves for the United States of America in January 2009, to take up studies at the University of Huston.