Belizeans continue to cheer Simone Biles

Posted: Tuesday August 16th 2016, 7:36 p.m. CST


By Aaron Humes: 11 Miss Belize pageant contestants and their director; the Special Envoy for Women and Children; the Vice-President of OCEANA in Belize; the Music Ambassador and son of the Prime Minister, among others, this afternoon found themselves together at the Baymen’s Tavern of the Radisson Fort George Hotel. The purpose? To cheer on American gymnast and Olympic Games darling Simone Biles, who was going for her fourth gold medal in the women’s floor exercise – and got it, of course.

Opal Enriquez, Miss Belize director and a cousin of Biles, and Special Envoy Kim Simplis-Barrow are proud of her achievements and what they mean for young women in the U.S., Belize and the world.

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 – and it is up to us to make that happen.

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