A ceremony has been held to officially welcome Barbados to Rio 2016

A special ceremony has been held at the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) headquarters in Wildey to officially invite the Caribbean country to Rio 2016. 

BOA President Steve Stoute accepted an official invitation on behalf of our local athletes from Brazilian Ambassador Luiz Gilberto Seixas de Andrade.

Stoute, also chairman of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees, welcomed the official to the Olympic Centre and said that during an official visit he made to Rio de Janeiro last year, he was very impressed with progress and facilities that will be utilised during the Games, especially the Athletes' Village.

"The BOA is looking forward to working with the Brazillian Embassy as we make preparations to take our team to next year’s Olympic Games," he added.

The Ambassador then provided an overview of progress with less than a year to go until the Games begin, including an update on the developments in infrastructure and construction work.

Hurdler Shane Brathwaite is one Barbados star who could lead the team at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images
Hurdler Shane Brathwaite is one Barbados star who could lead the team at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

With formalities completed, Barbados' athletes will be focusing on qualification ahead of trials next year, with the BOA confirming it will be providing "the necessary funding" for all local athletes who qualify for Rio.

The 2016 Games should see 19 days of competition, attracting 10,903 athletes from 205 countries, competing in 42 disciplines.

Barbados will be seeking a first Olympic medal since Obadele Thompson secured a bronze in the 100 metres at Sydney 2000.

Three medals were won at last month's Pan American Games in Toronto, a silver in the 100m for Raman Gittens and bronzes for high jumper Akela Jones and Shane Brathwaite in the 110m hurdles.

Related stories
July 2015: 
Maglione praises organisation and facilities after meeting Barbados Olympic Association President