Heart warming welcome for Levern

Following her arrival at Hewanorra International Airport Levern Spencer was all smiles after receiving a warm welcome from these students.

Redemption for high jumper Levern Spencer! Well maybe, following gold medal performances at two international meets in September, after a sup par performance at the London 2012 Olympics in July. Spencer came away with gold medals at competitions in Germany and Italy, which undoubtedly eased the disappointment of London 2012. Her double gold medal performance made Friday’s homecoming extra special. After arriving at Hewanorra International Airport Friday afternoon, she was greeted by flag waving school children and a welcoming party that included Minister for Youth Development and Sports, Shawn Edward; Youth and Sports Officer, Valerie St Helen; family members; Local Manager, Gregory Dixon; representatives of sponsors LIME, Peter and Company Limited, Paradise Water, First National Bank and the St Lucia Athletics Association. Judging by her reaction it was a homecoming this two-time Olympian did not expect. After receiving a bouquet of flowers, she mingled with school children and signed autographs on just about anything they had, including water bottles courtesy of Paradise Water and hand towels from LIME. After that, it was off to a nearby conference room at Paradise Water, where Spencer and her welcoming party received a warm welcome. During a brief ceremony, the prolific high jumper received praise from sponsors for her recent success at international competitions. The Olympics aside, Minister Edward also took the opportunity to congratulate Spencer for another productive season, which produced several medals while competing on the international stage. He said: “On behalf of the government of St Lucia I just want to say we are extremely proud of you. The point has been made before that you did not medal at the Olympics. That is understandable, but I think at the end of the day the quality of representation you gave to St Lucia not just at the Olympics but even before that, is something we are extremely grateful for. As a ministry we are going to continue working with you and provide as much support as we are able to. Our dream and desire is to see you excel and serve as a source of motivation for up and coming athletes.” Spencer who referred to her homecoming as heart warming, thanked everyone for being there and admitted to being caught off guard. “I was surprised when I came to the airport and saw so many people. It was really a good gesture,” remarked Spencer. “Most times there are welcome ceremonies when we get a medal and when you don’t do well no one recognizes it. You just come home and that’s it. This is a good gesture by everyone who planned it.” Spencer gave a big thank you to everyone and told sponsors: “I hope you continue supporting me. I will continue to try my best. Every competition I go to I always give 100 percent, because if you don’t it is not worth competing.” St Lucia’s Multi Sportswoman of the Year is here for a short visit. During that time she plans to visit several schools. After that it’s back to training in the United States for the upcoming season and further down the line the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Hopefully it will be gold, silver or bronze the next time around.

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