James Cameron was interviewed by Weekend at Bernie’s Larry King last night. The topic was Avatar, the highest grossing movie of all time, and its breakthrough special effects. Cameron, and I’m paraphrasing here, said all the visual stunts mean nothing if the audience does not care about the characters. TV execs who flood us with “personal profiles” of Winter Olympic athletes would second that notion. It’s the backstory that makes the stunt so rewarding to watch.
Dow Travers will be the first ever Winter Olympian for the Cayman Islands. His stunt is alpine skiing and his backstory is set against that beautiful, tax-friendly island of endless white sand beaches. On the flip side, Cayman’s highest point does not even qaulify as a mountain or even a hill. It’s a bluff, actually called “The Bluff,” and it stands 141 feet above sea level. That’s not a geological recipe for ski success.
It was family winter vacations at Beaver Creek that ieft Travers with a skiing addiction fueled by competitive drive. The past decade has been one long skiing jones for Travers. “Whenever I have time off, it is a hunt for snow.”
Even though he’s just 22, you might want to start calling him Mr. Travers. Ambition and passion are regular companions of success. Dow Travers is destined for big success.
In the offseason, you’ll find Dow knockin’ teeth out in the Ivy League on the Brown rugby team. But, winters are about knockin’ gates and training with the Aspen Valley Ski Club. A few years ago, Travers’ coach, Gene Bridgewater, planted a seed. “He thought I could get down to Olympic qualifying points if I could ski 60 days a year, and that set my mind on it,” Travers said. “It turned out he was right.”
The clinching FIS race came last year on the final Giant Slalom race in Antillanca, Chile. In his best British accent, Dow proclaimed, “I’m feeling very Olympic today.”
Back home in the Cayman the news has elevated Travers to national hero status. “We are very excited about this milestone in the history of the Olympics in the Cayman Islands,” said Donald McLean, Cayman Islands Olympic Committee president. “We have been planning for this for four years when we saw the skiing talent in the Travers boys as young teenagers.”
Yep, more skiing Travers are on the way. “My middle Brother Dillon was British National Champion at 11, and my youngest brother Dean came 2nd in the Junior Olympics last year with a gold and two silvers, and 3rd in the Whistler Cup in the GS skiing for Cayman.”
He’s already shown incredible drive and dedication in qualifying for the Winter Olympics. Post ski career, Travers will definitely be a player in the financial sector. He’s a geobiology major at Brown with future goals in the property development world. His father Anthony is the chairman of Cayman Islands Stocke Exchange. Yep, you might want to call him Mr. Travers, as in “Mr. Travers, your table is ready.”
But, the here and now is all about an Olympic dream. “I don’t want to let my country or myself down, but I won’t be thinking about the negatives. All I can do is lay down the best run I can on that hill, on that day and hold nothing back. You can reckon I will point them down the hill with malicious intent.”