Holmfirth-born journalist Oliver Thompson has won a silver medal in indoor bowling after representing his adopted home – the Falkland Islands – in an international competition.
Oliver, 28, was part of Team Falklands that won four medals at the NatWest International Island Games held in Guernsey. It was the Falklands’ best medal haul since 1999.
Oliver has lived and worked on the Falklands – 8,000 miles from the UK – since 2018 and took up bowls after covering a story about the local club.
Oliver was part of the Falklands’ men’s triples team which took silver after reaching the final of the Open Triples event. They were beaten by an experienced Guernsey women’s team which included world champion Alison Merrien MBE.
Oliver said: “I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved and a lot of hard work has gone into it such as playing late on a weekend in the school corridor or braving strong winds and playing outdoors.
“It was an incredible effort from everyone and the medal was just the icing on the cake.”
Oliver Thompson (left) with his teammates and the Guernsey finalists
It was something of a dream come true for Oliver who had been on the media team helping Team Falklands at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last year.
He said: “When I was the media attache for Team Falklands I remember seeing the athletes walk around the accommodation with their medals and thinking: ‘I want one of those.’ A year later I’ve got one!
“There was a closing ceremony where all the athletes had an after-party so that was pretty good and I managed to trade a Greenland tracksuit!”
Oliver is now back in Huddersfield for a week’s holiday before he returns to the Falklands where a Government House reception is planned for all the competitors. Then the training will start again with the aim of making the next Island Games in 2025 and a shot at gold.
The Island Games is a bi-annual event in which 24 small islands from across the world compete.