Welcomes Athletes at St. Croix Ironman Reception
Posted by Julia
Watthey on May 4, 2012 at 11:52 PM AST
On Friday, Governor de
Jongh attended a reception at the Buccaneer Hotel to welcome athletes who will compete in St. Croix’s Ironman competition this weekend.
John P. de Jongh poses for a photo with world renowned cyclist Lance Armstrong at the Ironman reception
on May 4, 2012.
The governor said the success and growing prestige of the event reflected in the caliber of competitors it attracts each year to swim, cycle and run across St. Croix is indicative of the tremendous potential for a vibrant sports tourism sector in the Virgin Islands. This year’s “Ironman 70.3” and shorter sprint course attracted the world’s elite triathletes, including cycling legend Lance Armstrong.
The governor expressed his best wishes to all Ironman athletes participating in Sunday’s races, noting, “This is one of the most beautiful courses in the world, taking advantage of St. Croix’s spectacular natural scenery. This event tests athletes’ physical and mental endurance on a tremendously challenging course, and also brings the community together while providing an economic benefit to our tourism product.”
During the reception, Armstrong greeted athletes and posed for photographs with fellow Ironman competitors. “Although it’s been 24 years since my last visit, it’s great to see the wonderful hospitality of the people hasn't changed a bit. I look forward to the race on Sunday and seeing the rest of the island,” Armstrong said.
The Ironman series includes 28 events throughout the world that qualify athletes for the Ironman World Championship held every October in Kona, Hawaii.