CANOC, BOA mourn passing of former BOA president Judy Simons

By Sports Desk January 05, 2024
Judy Simons Judy Simons

Former Bermuda Olympic Association president Judy Simons passed away on January 3.

The association made the announcement in a press release, leaving family, friends and colleagues to mourn.

“We are saddened to advise you of the passing of our friend and colleague Mrs. Judy Simons on January 3, 2024,” BOA president Peter Dunne said.

“This sudden and shocking news will be felt around the world.”

The announcement noted her 25 years of service to the Commonwealth Games Federation and to the Olympic movement, which followed a sporting career in field hockey and tennis.

“Her contributions to the BOA and Bermuda’s sporting community have had significant impact on the profile of Bermuda within the international sporting communities and organisations, right up to her passing as the regional vice-president (Americas) of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

“In addition to her tenure as president of the BOA and previously as secretary-general, Judy served on numerous committees.

“Judy’s leadership and reputation in the international sports groups has done much for the advancement of Bermuda and our athletes.

“Her reputation as a strong advocate for our organisation and other small national Olympic committees was well earned and will be missed greatly by all who knew her and benefited from her experience.

“Judy often referred to the 2020 gold medal of Flora Duffy as the pinnacle of her BOA career, but her legacy as a relationship builder will be remembered for years to come, always for the benefit of the BOA.

“Bermuda’s standing in global sport is due in large part to Judy’s dedication to the movement and her ability to develop strong bonds with her colleagues.

“We will continue to benefit from her work and reflect on her service as a model for all to emulate.”

BOA secretary-general Branwen Smith-King described Mrs. Simons as a “good friend, colleague and mentor”

“I’m devastated by this news; she will be sorely missed,” she said. “Judy’s contribution to sport in Bermuda reaches beyond our borders and those of us in the sports world are indebted to her services.

“As past president of the Bermuda Olympic Association, Judy’s leadership, passion for helping others and love for sport was inspirational.

“Judy Simons has left a legacy that truly cannot be duplicated. Rest in peace, my friend.”

BOA first vice-president Brenda Dale added: “Judy was a dear friend and someone I deeply admired and trusted.

“She was a kind, caring and committed person whose heart was rooted in the Bermuda sports community.

“She dedicated a large part of her life fighting for and supporting our Bermuda athletes in every avenue and at every level possible.

“I am ever grateful to have accepted her invitation to join her on the BOA board, as it was truly an honour to serve with her.

“She was an inspiration, and her hard work and immense contributions to sport, both locally and internationally, will be a legacy felt and admired across the globe. She will be deeply missed.”

Ben Smith, the deputy leader of the opposition One Bermuda Alliance and Shadow Minister of Education and Sport, described Mrs. Simons as “the face of sports in Bermuda” whose rich legacy will live on.

Mr. Smith who is also Bermuda’s national swimming coach, said: “Judy was an absolute pleasure to work and travel with. She was a consummate professional, but also very nurturing and a joy to be around.

“Bermuda has lost yet another national treasure and will be sorely missed. I would like to extend my deepest condolences to her family at this difficult time.”

The Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) also reacted to her passing.

“It is with immense sadness and a heavy heart that I extend our most sincere condolences to the immediate family, the Olympic Family and the entire Bermudan sport family, on the passing, earlier today, of our dear friend and colleague, Judy Simons,” CANOC President Keith Joseph said in a statement on Thursday. 

The statement continued: “It was not so long ago that we had the pleasure of Judy's company and observed then, that she was ailing. As usual, in her own style, she seemed to convince us that all was well. 

“Truth sets us free and Judy never really recovered from the death of her husband. Even speaking of his passing a few weeks ago in Singapore, brought great sadness to her and an admission of just how much this continued to impact her. 

“Judy's commitment to sport led her to take on many challenges. She soldiered as she had to cope with the passing of her treasured General Secretary, Phillip Guishard, and was ecstatic with the gold medal winning performance of the country's Triathlon athlete, Flora Duffy, making Bermuda the smallest country in the Olympic Movement to win gold at the Olympics.”

Mrs. Simons was the wife of former Somerset Cup Match captain Campbell Simons, who predeceased her in September 2021.

 

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