Our official welcome home from the Gotland Games was hosted by Guernsey's Bailiff at Beau Sejour on Wednesday the 5th of July. It was a final chance to get together as Team Guernsey and celebrate our successes and hear the lovely sound of those medals clanking. Gotland was a huge success for our team and we're not just talking about medals, we're talking about the spirit of Team Guernsey. There have been lots of people telling us it was their favourite games ever and we can understand why.
The Vin d'Honneur gave GIGA Chairman Brian Allen a chance to thank competitors as well as those involved behind the scenes, the Bailiff for his unwavering and enthusiastic support and our sponsors Generali too. The kit is a big part of what the money from Generali goes towards and Team Guernsey were hard to miss in Gotland. The kit really stood out among the rest.
The Bailiff, Sir Richard Collas, reminded us that at the send off he'd asked the team to wear their Guernsey kit and perform with pride in Gotland and he's been approached by endless people since his return telling him how proud they are of Guernsey and the team performance at the games. Sir Richard believes sport in Guernsey is in good health and that's down to the hard work the athletes put in. Rather than singling out any one performance or team the Bailiff says his lasting memory from this Island Games will be the team spirit and the atmosphere he saw among the competitors when they were gathered together at breakfast and dinner. The interaction, the mix of ages and the effort everyone put in to support their fellow sports really impressed him. It's one of the reasons he's describing Gotland as the best of the four games he's been to as a supporter.
Sir Richard also believes Team Guernsey probably should've had a gold medal for the amount of ice cream consumed in Gotland as the ice cream shop near the hotel reported Guernsey as their best customers during Island Games week. He says it's clear to him that many friendships were built within the Guernsey team, within sports and within islands and everyone really will take away Memories for Life. The Bailiff encouraged everyone to use their experience of the Island Games to encourage others to succeed in sport.
It was a lovely end to a hugely successful Island Games. For those feeling a little deflated that it's all over, don't worry, the GIGA Board have a meeting on Monday and it's time to start thinking about Gibraltar 2019!