At the close of the 2017 Island Games in Gotland last night the Island Games flag was officially handed over to Gibraltar as the next hosts of the Games.
President of the Gibraltar Island Games Association, Linda Alvarez, received the flag from the Chairman of the Executive Committee, Jorgen Petterson, during the closing ceremony of the 17th Island Games.
And as he handed it over Mr Petterson said: “As Chairman of the International Island Games Association, I entrust this ceremonial flag to your care Linda, Gibraltar and I ask that in due time you or your successor in office will ensure the flag is raised in Gibraltar to start the NatWest Island Games.”
Addressing the almost 4,000 spectators and athletes Ms Alvarez said: “On behalf of Gibraltar, it’s an honour to accept and to look after the NatWest Island Games flag.”
She thanked Gotland for their hosting of the 2017 Games and said: “In two years time Gibraltar will open its arms and welcome our island friends to the 18th NatWest Island Games, our second Sunshine Games.”
“So welcome everybody in two years time, come to Gibraltar,” she said to cheers from the crowd.
2019 will be the second time the Games has been staged on the Rock after it was previously held there in 1995.
Yesterday’s ceremony was held along the seafront in the pouring rain and began with the procession of the flags before the athletes marched in within their sporting groups.
Clay shooter double Gold medalist Tom Sawyer was chosen to carry the Gibraltar flag.
The competition had brought together almost 4,000 competitors from 23 different islands.
Gibraltar’s athletes won 26 medals during the week-long competition with shooting dominating the medal haul with some 17 medals including four golds. On the final day of the competition Gibraltar secured a Gold medal, two silvers and three bronze medals.