Bahamian gymnast Kianna Dean to represent Bahamas at Pan Am Games


Senior Sports Reporter


Originally, there was supposed to be two competitors selected by the Bahamas Gymnastics Federation to represent the Bahamas at the Pan American Games. But an injury sustained this year by Simone Hall leaves Kianna Dean as the lone flag bearer in Toronto, Canada.

Dean, who will be coached by Trevor Ramsey, was selected to the 36-member team named by the Bahamas Olympic Committee to compete along with athletics, boxing, swimming and tennis July 10-26. The team was named Wednesday by BOC president Wellington Miller.

“I would like to once again say how honoured and grateful I am to have an opportunity to represent my country in the field of gymnastics at the Pan American Games,” Dean said. “I am also very excited to once again be able to train with our national coach, Mr Trevor Ramsey.

“I would like to express my sadness upon hearing about the unfortunate injury of my fellow teammate Simone. We have both been working very hard for a number of years to have opportunities such as these. I definitely will be praying for her speedy recovery.”

As for her appearance at the games, Dean called it a “dream come true.”

“I am excited, honoured and humbled to represent the Bahamas at the 2015 Pan American Games,” Dean said. “This is one of my dreams come true and based on my current progress, I will do my very best to represent our country with pride and dignity.”

Dean, a 18-year-old former student of Aquinas College who went on to graduate from high school in Miami, Florida, thanked the gymnastics federation, the BOC and indeed the Bahamas for this grand opportunity and for believing and having the confidence in her as she prepares to represent the Bahamas at the first major international event for the sport.

Barbara Thompson, president of the BGF, said it’s definitely an historic moment for the sport and while they would have liked for Hall to join Dean in Toronto, they are looking at sending the two competitors to the World Championships October 23 to November 1 in Scotland.

“We’re hoping to get some corporate support to assist our team with travel and associated expenses for this competition,” said Thompson of the World Championships, which will serve as a qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“Hopefully, we will have both Kianna Dean and Simone Hall representing the Bahamas at the World Championships.”

As she continues to recuperate, Hall noted that she will “continue to strive for the best and make everybody proud. Thanks again for your continued support and best wishes.”

Dean, who now lives in Miami and trains under head coach Kathy Semok at Park Avenue Gymnastics in Cooper City, Florida, is the daughter of Kevan and Anita Dean and brother of Koen. She hopes to become the first female elite gymnast to compete on a World and Olympic stage for the Bahamas.

Dean also aspires to be the first Bahamian gymnast to compete at the division one collegiate level. She is currently enrolled in Western Michigan University where she is majoring in biology and hopes to become a veterinarian. She has taken some time off from her educational pursuit to focus on her athletic career.


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