American artistic gymnast and 25 times medalist, Simone Biles is in Belize. Biles, who is of Belizean heritage, is vacationing on Ambergris Caye and was presented with the symbolic keys to the island. Our island correspondent, Jorge Aldana was on hand for the occasion and filed the following report.
Jorge Aldana, San Pedro Correspondent, Love FM News: Surrounded by close family members and her boyfriend the most decorated gymnast in world championship history Simone Biles was greeted by officials on Ambergris Caye Belize at Ramon’s Village Resort located on the beaches of the Caribbean island. Biles is on vacation away from the vigorous training as she gears up to represent team USA at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Just before her arrival dinner Belize’s Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. greeted Biles and presented her with a welcoming token, the country’s coat of arms. In his remarks Heredia said that Belize is honored to have Biles back in Belize.
Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism: “Simone it is an honor to have you back, you can come as many times as you want and being descent of Belizean that makes us feel extremely proud. You help put Belize on the map and for that we are very very proud and tonight I have the honor of presenting you a little token on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism and BTB so that you can have a little remembrance of what- and I believe if I’m not mistaken this is the coat of arms of Belize.”
Jorge Aldana, San Pedro Correspondent, Love FM News: During the short ceremony Mayor of San Pedro Town , His Worship Daniel Guerrero, presented Biles with the symbolic keys to the town. In his short message Guerrero told Biles that she is an inspiration to many athletes not only in the USA but also in Belize.
Daniel Guerrero, Mayor of San Pedro: “Today we are celebrating our 35th anniversary of township and we have decided together with BTB to do this presentation and it is very important for us here in San Pedro; we are proud, we are happy and we want to congratulate you on all your achievements and we wish you all the best in Tokyo 2020. We have a token, a special gift.”
Jorge Aldana, San Pedro Correspondent, Love FM News: The keys to the town was presented to Biles to express the island’s deep appreciation for her extraordinary motivation and enduring accomplishments for her love for Belize, Belizean people and Belizean culture. In attendance to witness the presentation were many local athletes from Ambergris Caye. Biles had a short but powerful message to the Belizean athletes.
Simone Biles,Gymnast: “I would just say keep working hard and your dreams aren’t that far out of reach so if you work hard and dream big you can achieve anything.”
It is uncertain how many days Biles will be in Belize but she is being accompanied by members of the US press corp who are documenting her journey to Tokyo 2020. This is not the first time that Biles has been to Belize since she has Belizean heritage and also holds Belizean citizenship.