True character: Jesse, left, and Zander, right prepare their boat at the Olympic sailing venue. Even though Jesse is the captain, he deferred to his older brother to carry the flag tonight because “he has to put up with me”. *Photo by Matthew Dickens/onEdition Photography
True character: Jesse, left, and Zander, right prepare their boat at the Olympic sailing venue. Even though Jesse is the captain, he deferred to his older brother to carry the flag tonight because “he has to put up with me”. *Photo by Matthew Dickens/onEdition Photography

FRIDAY, JULY 27: “Humbling.”

That’s how Zander Kirkland felt after his brother Jesse turned down the honour of being Bermuda’s flag bearer so he could carry it.

Stan Douglas, chef de mission for Bermuda. Told the Bermuda Sun that the Kirklands “have displayed a commitment to bringing the best performance here. The rest of the team has the same commitment so it was a difficult choice for us. We actually chose the captain, which is Jesse.”

Douglas said when the BOA informed Jesse of their choice he said “I would like my brother to do that.”

Zander said he is “Over the moon… honoured and humbled to raise the flag. My brother gave me the honour after first being nominated by the BOA.

This is a moving gesture and I feel that this is a testament to his character and the teamwork we have developed on the water over the past few years.

“I will be beaming ear to ear as I listen to the roar of the stadium! We have a great team for London and I am proud to lead them out.”

Jesse said passing the honour on to Zander “came quite naturally to me, right during the phone call with Mr. Douglas. Though I was incredibly honoured to be selected as the flag bearer, I was more than happy to pass on the privilege to my brother. We have been through so much together, and he deserves it after putting up with me.”

The rest of Bermuda’s team includes long jumpers Arantxa King and Tyrone Smith, triathletes Flora Duffy and Tyler Butterfield, show jumper Jillian Terceira and swimmer Roy Burch.

Butterfield represented Bermuda in Greece in 2004 with the other five competing in the Beijing Olympics.

The only newcomers on Bermuda’s team are the Kirklands.

In addition, Bermudian Jenaya Wade-Fray is playing on the Great Britain basketball team.

Douglas said the only Bermuda athletes not at the Games and not participating tonight are triathletes Duffy and Butterfield.

“They have other dates of arrival because their preparations are leading up to their events in August. Their training includes high altitude training. This is the best fit for them.

“We’re happy with their late arrival because our goal with the Bermuda Olympic Association is to help put them in the best possible position to perform well.”

Douglas said Jillian Terceira arrived yesterday, albeit delayed from the airport when their vehicle was stuck stationary in traffic as the Olympic torch relay interfered with them getting to the Village.

Smith’s arrival to London was delayed after he missed his flight on Wednesday because of traffic jams caused by accidents.

The big hoopla in the Olympic Village happened when US basketball Dream Team passed through.

Burch said: “It was crazy. You only see these guys on TV. They are just as big in person. There were so many people trying to get photos.  (Coach) Ben Smith and I just sat and watched the mayhem.”

King said: “It was really cool but kind of funny to see everyone running around trying to get pictures.”