Founded in 2013, The Bahamian Icon Awards set forth on a mission to celebrate the exemplary achievements of men and women who have excelled in their respective industries and have therefore contributed to the overall development of The Bahamas.
Accordingly, The Bahamian Icon Awards is a celebration of greatness.
Among those recognized for exemplifying a spirit of excellence and achievement this past weekend were two of Abaco’s very own: phenomenal track and field sensation, Steven Gardiner, and Khalea Richard, a 17-year-old student of Forest Heights Academy, who won the Bahamian Icon Track and Field and Rising Star awards, respectively, on July 7.
During her acceptance speech, Khalea expressed: “Wow, thank you so, so, so, so much. This is incredibly amazing…I’m shaking if you can’t tell. I just want to say thank you to my family, my extended family, my parents, my siblings, my family at the Ministry of Tourism for always supporting me in Abaco and in Nassau, my family at Friends of the Environment and at BREEF, and at all of the other organizations that have always supported me and helped me on my mission in striving for education through environmental studies…
“I want to say thank you to all of the other contestants because you guys put up a really hard fight, and to all of my teachers, and everybody from Abaco who always supports me – shout out to you guys – thank you so much.”
Indeed, this year has been a winning year for Richard as she made history earlier this year when she became the first Abaco student to win the Junior Minister of Tourism Competition in March. Before that, Khalea also won the Rotary Speech Competition, and she placed second in the Bahamas Junior Minister of the Environment Competition.
As for Gardiner, he is a 22-year-old Bahamian track and field sprinter. He was a silver medalist at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in the 400 meters, and he is the national record holder for the 400 meters and 200 meters. His list of achievements include a bronze medal in the 4×400 relay in the 2016 Olympic Games; he secured silver at the IAAF World Championships in London in the 400m; and he captured gold in the 2017 IAAF World Relay Championships in Nassau in the 4x400m mixed relay. Over the course of his athletic career, Gardiner also competed in the CARIFTA Games and the 2015 World Junior Championships.
The island of Abaco salutes Steven Gardiner and Khalea Richard.