Paralympian’s Tokyo Mission
Barbados’ lone competitor to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, Antwahn Boyce-Vaughn, left the island for Japan yesterday with a determination to begin a swim which should land him in Paris in 2024.
Boyce-Vaughn, 20, who will take part in the 50 metres freestyle in Japan, was confident of doing well and bringing pride to his country while gaining the experience and skills to qualify for the 2024 Paralympics.
“I am confident of doing well at the Games. Thanks to the support which I have gotten from my mother (Tonia Boyce), coach Ms [Adele] Price and the Paralympic Association I have been able to not only learn to swim in just over a year but to become a Paralympian.
“The only challenge which I see is the long trip to Japan but regardless of the outcome I hope to do well enough and become even better to qualify for the next Paralympic,” said Boyce-Vaughn.
The Paralympian had lost a leg following a bout with cancer and he was encouraged to take up swimming as part of his therapy.
That proved to be a morale booster and life changing experience for Boyce-Vaughn, who has been encouraging other individuals who lost limbs to recognise that they can advance to achieving great things in life.
Boyce-Vaughn was seen off at the Grantley Adams International Airport by a large group of friends and family along with some of his medical support staff, as well as Kendia Brathwaite and Ryan Brathwaite of the Barbados Olympic Association.
Among those encouraging him to do his best was David Taylor, who also represented Barbados in swimming at the Beijing and London Paralympics.
Accompanying Boyce-Vaughn is coach Price and manager Martin Jackman, who is the president of the Barbados Paralympics Association. (KB)