GLASGOW: For Antigua’s Jyme Bridges, a first medal in cycling will be like “putting me in a space ship and shooting it into space”.
That’s how much a medal at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games would mean for the 24-year-old from the tiny island in the Caribbean.
Antigua, with a population of only 80,161, does not have a velodrome but that hasn’t stopped Bridges from dreaming big.
“My country is small but cycling is slowly getting a bigger following. More people are cycling now,” said the stocky Bridges.
“I travel to another Caribbean country – Trinidad and Tobago – for training because they have a velodrome.
“It’s about an hour by flight. I’m going to go all out to win my country’s first medal in cycling.”
Bridges competed in the road race event in the New Delhi Commonwealth Games four years ago but a big crash dashed his hopes.
“It was a brutal incident. I got hurt during training and the doctors told me to pull out. I didn’t ... I just couldn’t because I had worked so hard to be at the Games,” he said.
“I went on to take part in the road race but could not complete it.
“This time, however, I plan to ride safe. In cycling, the smallest of touches between two wheels can be disastrous. It can happen any time. I just have to be more alert,” added the pony-tailed Bridges.
Four cyclists from Antigua will be competing in Glasgow and Bridges hopes to land on the podium.