The Bahamas Olympic Committee- (Formerly "The Bahamas Olympic Association")

The Olympic Association of the Bahamas was formed on 8th May 1952. The impetus for its creation grew from the Bahamian excitement of having two local yachtsmen, Durward Knowles and Sloan Farrington, who had proved themselves as leading Star Class yachtsmen of their day by placing third in the Star Class World's Championships in Havana in 1946, winning the Star Class Spring Championships in the Bahamas in 1947 and medaling at the World's Championship in California the same year.

Bahamians Compete Under the British Flag


Knowles and Farrington then tried to register for the 1948 Olympics, only to find that they could only enter through the British Olympic Committee as the Bahamas had neither an affiliation with the International Yacht Racing Association nor the IOC.  Moreover, they had to be in England to compete with British and other Commonwealth Sailors to qualify. In a dramatic drive from Miami to New York described in the book about his illustrious Olympic Career: 'Driven By The Stars' by Douglas Hanks Jr., Sir Durward and Sloan managed to catch the last sailing of the 'Queen Mary' which could possibly get them to London in time for the trials . They qualified to represent Great Britain, and just missed a medal in their first Olympic Games by placing fourth overall despite one broken mast and one disqualification. 

The Birth of the Bahamas Olympic Association

Their Bahamian supporters were determined to have them sail for the Bahamas in the 1952 Olympics; and so it was, with the Helsinki Olympics only months away, that on 8th May 1952, prominent sports leaders and members of the Bahamas House of Assembly met to form the Bahamas Olympic Association. 

The first officers were:

President: The Hon. G.W.K. Roberts
Vice Presidents: The Hon. A.F. Adderley
The Hon. Godfrey W. Higgs
Mr. Roscoe Albury
Mr. Chris M. Brown
Honorary Treasurer: Mr. R. James Robertson
Honorary Secretary: Mr. Gerald C. Cash
Honorary Asst. Sec.: Mr. Eustace Myers 

The First Constitution

The first constitution (appendix 1), drafted by Sir Gerald Cash, was a four page document outlining the nine rules of the Association. The three forming member associations were: Athletics, Swimming, and Yachting, and it was stipulated that they and all other prospective members must be amateur bodies with volunteer executives.

Sir Durward Knowles

Sir Durward Knowles and Sloan Farrington went on to win a bronze medal in Melbourne in 1956; and a gold medal, with Cecil Cook as crew, in Tokyo 1964. Sir Durward continued competing in the Olympic Sailing for a record of eight (8) Olympics; the last being Pusan, Korea in 1988 at the age of seventy, making him one of the oldest and most successful Olympians. Sir Durward still serves as a vice president of the Bahamas Olympic Association, and is by far its longest serving executive.

The successive presidents of the BOA have been:

  1952 to 1957 Sir George Roberts
  1957 to 1972 Mr. Robert (Bobby) Symonette
  1972 to 1973 Dr. Norman Gay
  1973 to 2008 Sir Arlington Butler
  2008 to Present  Wellington Miller (BOC)

The Former Executives as of 2008

  President: Sir Arlington Butler
  Vice Presidents: Sir Durward Knowles
  Rev. A. Enoch Backford
  Harcourt Rolle
  Leonard Archer
  Roscow A.L. Davies
  Wellington Miller
  Treasurer: Vincent Wallace-Whitfield
  Asst. Treasurer: Dianne S. Miller
  Hon. Secretary: Dr. Lawrence Davis
  Hon. Asst. Secretary: B. Livingstone Bostwick

The current member federations are: 

  Bahamas Amateur Boxing Federation (BABF)  
  Bahamas Amateur Cycling Federation (BACF)
  Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA)
  Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF)
  Gymnastics Federation of the Bahamas(GFB)
Bahamas Football Association (BFA)
  Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA) 
Bahamas National Equestrian Federation (BNEF)
  Bahamas Sailing Association
Bahamas Swimming Federation (BSF)
  Bahamas Taekwondo Fedeartion(BTF)
Bahamas Volleyball Federation (BVF)
  Bahamas Wrestling Federation(BWF)

Associate federations benefiting from coaching courses and assistance through the BOA, and taking part in the Pan American and/or the Commonwealth Games are:

  Bahamas Softball Fedeartion (BSF)
  Bahamas Triathlon Federation (BTF)
  Bahamas Federation of Amateur Bowlers (BFAB)
  Bahamas Karate Federation (BKF)
  Bahamas Racquetball Association (BRA)
Bahamas Rugby Union (BRU)
  Bahamas Baseball Association (BBA)
  Bahamas Squash Racquets Association (BSRA)
  Bahamas Netball Federation (BNF)
  Bahamas Golf Fedeartion(BGF)

Relationship between National Federations, Government and the BOA

A challenge is to incorporate these federations more fully into the BOA and to improve the relationships between the BOA, the Government and the National Federations. And to accomplish this we need:

  • Frequent communications between officials
  • Mutual respect
  • Cooperation
  • Clarification of roles and responsibilities of each in the development of sport
  • Financial support from government
  • BOA and federations financially and technically responsible and accountable
  • The needs of government, the federations and BOA must be mutually respected


Success Due to Good Relationships

Mutual respect and cooperation has contributed to the success of the Bahamas Teams and our top athletes over the years. The Bahamas has competed in all of the Olympics, Pan American, Commonwealth and Central American and Caribbean Games and has had glorious victories, the crowning achievement being the winning of the gold medal in the women's 4x100m relay in the Sydney Olympics.

Bahamas Olympic Medals

Following the Bahamas' first medal by Durward Knowles and Sloan Farrington in Star Class Sailing in 1956 and his gold medal with Cecil Cook at the Tokyo Olympics of 1964, we were not to receive a medal until 1992. At the Barcelona Olympics Frank Rutherford won the bronze medal in the Triple Jump; and this was followed by the silver medal in the women's 4x100m Relay in Atlanta 1996, and two more Athletics victories in Sydney 2000.  Pauline Davis-Thompson won the silver medal in the 200 meters and the gold medal in the 4x100m went to the Bahamas Golden Girls: Eldice Clarke, Pauline Davis, Debbie Ferguson, Savatheda Fines and Chandra Sturrup.

Bahamas Olympic Participation

One hundred and twenty-five (125) Bahamian Athletes have competed in seven different disciplines in the Olympics during the fifty years of participation: seventy (71) in Athletics, 5 in Boxing, 2 in Cycling, 14 in Swimming, 3 in Tennis, 2 in Wrestling and 28 in Yachting.

The Bahamas is planning to send its best team ever to London 2012, with the hope and determination to again have our athletes on the medal stand. This ' Strategic Plan For The Realignment of the Constitution and GOOD Governance of The Bahamas Olympic Committee' will  assist in fostering the success of the Bahamian Athletes in London 2012.