30th June – 6th July 2007
Initially there were many fears over holding the 2007 NatWest Island Games in Rhodes. Because the island is a major tourist destination, the population during the summer was over 200,000, and people were worried that the games would not be embraced by the local population. Many competitors were concerned over the heat that they would face and many of the facilities were still not finished in the weeks running up to the games. Despite that, over 2,300 athletes turned up for the games, making it bigger than the winter Olympics.
Orkney faced some tough competition for medals – especially following on from their success in the previous games in Shetland.
In the end the team returned home with four bronze medals with a story behind every one.
Most stunning of all was the men’s triathlon team who won their medal on the final day. It was such an unexpected win that some missed the medal ceremony! Bobby Oag had led the way with his 8th place time of 2.07.34. The rest of the team consisted of Torquil Clyde, Keith Farrer, Thomas Fay, and William Tulloch. The team’s time of 6.38.54 was only 7 seconds ahead of the fourth placed Isle of Man team!
Helen Cromarty was defending her Shot Putt gold and threw an improved distance of 12.18 which gave her the bronze.
The archers were in the medals once again – this time the recurve team of Grham and Ian Brough, Anna Dunsmuir David Kennedy and Tony McGaffney were third in their head to head discipline, and sisters Ann Shorthouse and Catherine Symons won their medal in the Ladies Doubles Table Tennis.
When all the medals had been handed out it was time to relax at the final night party in its idyllic setting on the waterfront opposite mediaeval monuments and under the palm trees. Competitors and officials from all over the world talked and danced the night away now that their responsibilities were over, and the plans were laid for the trip north to Aland in two years time.