Bahamian athletes first participated in the Olympic Games in 1948. Two leading yachtsmen (Durward Knowles and Sloane Farrington) qualified for the Olympics but with no Olympic Committee they represented Great Britain and only narrowly missed a medal (they were placed 4th overall) despite a broken mast and a disqualification.
As a result of their outstanding performance, 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 (now The Bahamas Olympic Committee).
Since that first Olympic experience, the founding members of The Bahamas Olympic Committee have, through their efforts many years ago, left a legacy upon which today's Committee members continue to nurture and sustain the local Olympic movement. Over the years members have sought out Bahamians not only with athletic talent, but those who carry within the spirit of the ideal Olympian, a spirit of the highest ideals and boundless determination balanced by a sense of belonging to the brotherhood of man. All energies have been directed toward ensuring that these elite athletes have been afforded every opportunity for success at the Olympic Games. Much of the Committee's efforts have also been directed toward rallying financial support from our community so that our country is represented at all major sporting events regionally and internationally.
In Helsinki in 1952 the team again included Sir Durward Knowles and Sloane Farrington who won the country's first bronze medal in the Star Class sailing event. Sir Durward Knowles and Sloane Farrington went on to win a bronze medal in Melbourne in 1956. Eventually, in Tokyo 1964 and with Cecil Cook as crew Sir Durward won a gold medal for The Bahamas.
Sir Durward continued competing in the Olympic Sailing for a record of eight Olympics; the last being Pusan, Korea in 1988 at the age of seventy, making him one of the oldest and most successful Olympians.
Starting out as a small organisation with one competitive sport, sailing, The Bahamas now has many world class athletes in a variety of disciplines. These accomplishments can only be attributable to Committee coaches, parents and support structures, and the athletes' sacrifices over the years that contribute to these kinds of results.
The Olympic Games is the greatest sporting event in the world and The Bahamas is planning to send its best team ever to Rio, with the hope and determination to again have our athletes on the medal stand.
The stamp issue features four digitally painted athletes representing some of the events that our athletes have excelled in: High Jump, Individual Track, Relays and Triple Jump.
The Bahamas Olympic Committee emblem is reproduced with the permission of the Bahamas Olympic Committee.
Designer Andrew Robinson
Printer: BDT International Security Printing
Process: Stochastic Lithography
Perforation: 14 per 2cms
Stamp size: 36 x 36mm
Sheet Layout: 20 (2 x 10)
Release Date: 10 August, 2016
Production Co-ordination: Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd