By Jasminee Sahoye
Despite the death of his mother a few days prior to travelling to Canada to participate in the Pan Am Games, Nickolas Sylvester, a St. Vincent and the Grenadines, swimmer, has been getting commendations for dealing with the adversity and competing in the freestyle and breaststroke challenges.
Although he did not make it to the top of the100m and 50m freestyle and breaststroke, many are applauding him for his determination.
Canadian Elma Gabriel, a native of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is among a number of Sylvester’s fans.
In a Facebook message she wrote: “We all must applaud Nikolas (sic) Sylvester for his drive, determination and endurance in even coming here to participate in representing his Island at a time of the sad passing of his Dear Mom Nichole. Such strength are what we hope exhibit within our young men, youths. The Leaders of the future. I Cheer “U” young Man!!!”
In the 100m breaststroke event, he equalled his personal best time of 1:11.94. The winner from Brazil set a Games record of 59.84 seconds.
“Good experience racing with these big guys … Didn’t achieve the time I wanted but I enjoyed it more and better races to come,” Sylvester said on his Facebook page.
Sylvester’s mother, a former president of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and OECS bar associations, was a noted person in St. Vincent over many years, both in and out of legal practice. She also served as president of the country’s Human Rights Association.
“It is with a very deep sense of sadness that I deliver the devastating news of the sudden and unexpected passing yesterday afternoon (July 2) of our colleague Nicole Sylvester of the St. Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG) Bar,” a statement from the bar association said.
She was the brains behind the OECS Law Fair (now Law Conference) launched in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 2004. At a gala dinner during the 10th-annual Law Fair in September 2012, she received a special award for her sterling contribution to the OECS Bar and, in particular, development of the Annual Law Fair. She was the main organizer of the first nine law fairs.
She was known as an assertive, outgoing, outspoken, energetic, committed and hard-working person who led from the front, undaunted by the challenges along the way and was the first woman to hold the presidency of the OECS Bar.