Bermuda Day Grand Marshal 2017 – Our Sporting Heritage
2016 was a very good year for triathlon athlete Flora Duffy. Not only did she compete in the Summer Olympics held in Rio, she also won three world championships, becoming the ITU World Champion, the Xterra World Champion and the ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion. Previously she was the winner of the Xterra World Championships in 2014 and 2015, as well as of the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship in 2015. She is particularly proud of being a three-time Olympian, having also participated in the 2008 Games in Beijing and the 2012 Games in London. She is also very proud of her 2016 ITU Championship.
Born in Bermuda in 1987 to parents Charles and Maria Duffy, she loved sports from an early age. She was in the Sharks swim club and in primary school did every sport from cross country to football. As she says, she grew up doing triathalon, being a member of a local triathlon club, the Tri-Hedz Junior Triathlon Club. Every Saturday she went to Southside for triathlon training and as a child even participated in a few triathlon races abroad. Two people who helped her develop her skills were Dave Morrison, and Neil De Ste Croix, who was her Bermuda team coach during the 2012 Olympics.
However, her life has had its challenges and she is the first to admit she has experienced “the highest highs and the lowest lows”. In 2008 she “retired” from triathlon for two years because of health issues. Her eyes are now on the 2020 Olympics to be held in Tokyo where she hopes to race and win a medal. After that she plans to switch to long course racing. In the meantime, this year she is riding a specially costumed Bermuda themed bike, which includes the colours of Bermuda’s water, the Bermudiana national flower and the Bermuda flag.
Note: Unfortunately, Flora was off-island for training and international races and was unable to participate in the Bermuda Day Parade in 2017.