Island Games star Shianne Smith is set to return to France to continue pursuing her Olympic dream.
And she vowed not to let a lack of funding hold her back in her single-minded quest to achive her ambitions.
Smith, 27, performed superbly at the recently-concluded Games, winning a total of five golds and a sole bronze.
She is now set to turn her focus back on her heptathlon training when she returns to Europe.
A place at the 2016 Olympics in Rio is the goal — but a lack of funding and sponsorship presents a major obstacle for her, although she is determined not to let it stop her.
She told the Bermuda Sun: “Track and field is my profession. It’s what I do day in, day out. Funding is always a problem.
“This year was difficult — it was all on my own money to go out to France. I worked all summer because I was determined to go out there.”
Smith already works full time training to master the seven disciplines required for the heptathlon, the ultimate test for a female athlete. A job on top of that is necessary to fund her training but also an added burden.
“I’ve been looking for jobs in France,” she said. “But a sponsorship from Bermuda would be great as it would definitely help ease up my load, for sure, as I’m on a path for the Olympics right now.”
Smith was happy to be back in Bermuda showing the local fans what she can do and her medal haul was clearly a proud moment.
She said: “Overall the games were good. To come out with five golds after doing a heptathlon a week prior was good.
“Overall the experience was great, competing for Bermuda was great, having their support.
“It was fulfilling to come home and compete. A lot of Bermudians have never seen me compete, so that was good.
“It was definitely something to put on a show, because no one knew what I was doing in France, so I could come home and show them how I’ve improved from training over there in France.”
As a multi-discipline athlete, Smith competes in the 100m hurdles, the high jump, the shot put, 200m, long jump, javelin and 800m. However, her skills set and athletic abilities have allowed her to excel in other events, such as the 400m hurdles, which she took gold in during the Island Games.
“As a heptathlete, to win gold in individual events like I did is huge for me,” she said.