Kay-De Vaughn

A small Belizean contingent left Belize for the Pan American Games in mid-October to participate in athletics. Their departure was low key and without much fanfare. The team of ten athletes travelled to Guadalajara to compete against athletes from over thirty countries in the one and two hundred meter races, long, triple and high jumps, along with two teams in the four hundred meter relay. After two weeks, the team is back, without medals but some made personal records. For seasoned triple jumper, Kay-De Vaughn, however, the experience at the games wasn’t a good one and she is quitting the sport.

Kay-De Vaughn, Athletics-Triple Jump

“Umm my experience was very different compared to the other years I was there because of the challenges this year that the athletes faced and we just had to try to focus within to be able to participate on your own.”

Andrea Polanco

“When you say challenges, what sort of challenges?”

Kay-De Vaughn

“For me in particular as a jumper, I really didn’t have any assistance in terms of when I was competing I didn’t have a coach there so the coach from the countries were giving me assistance and that was a big problem for me because it made me feel alone as an athlete. I was the only athlete there by themselves.”

Andrea Polanco

“But although you didn’t come out successful there are of course lessons that you learnt over there?”

Kay-De Vaughn

“Yes, I did learn a lot of lessons. It did kinda, the trip in general taught me how to be a stronger person and for me to focus on what I am there to do instead of focusing on all the negativity around us.”

Andrea Polanco

“So you also had the opportunity to interact with the other athletes, did they face similar trials as you did?”

Kay-De Vaughn

“No I don’t think they did. They had their coaches with them and their team. They were more together compared to us. I felt. Us as athletes I felt we were together, but the communication was lacking between us and the officials.”

Andrea Polanco

“What was the uh, in terms of the results, what were the results like?”

Kay-De Vaughn

“We had a lot of PR’s for the team which we are very proud of. We did really well when compared to the other countries who have better facilities, who have better coaches, who are able to get the nutrition they need. I think we did really well.”

Andrea Polanco

“For you personally the jumps that you did; how would you rate it with the other records that you’ve set for yourself?”

Kay-De Vaughn

“I was not satisfied with the way I competed and I definitely have jumped further than that and I know I could’ve done better.”

Andrea Polanco

“So, what’s next for Kay de Vaughn?”

Kay-De Vaughn

“Nothing actually. I’m finished with track and field. It has been a long, a lot of years.”

Andrea Polanco

“So this was actually your last good-bye to the athletics field?”

Kay-De Vaughn

“Yes that’s correct.”

The United States and Cuba were the countries that won the most medals at the games.

Channel 5