Snowboarder Kory Wright gives the thumbs-up from his native Bahamas.
CTV.CA - Vancouver, Canada - His board is decaled with his country's colours -- yellow and blue. The word "Bahamas" is written in large font on the bottom.
So every time Kory Wright launches off the Cyprus Mountain half-pipe, he literally flies the Bahamian flag over a venue that will soon host competitions during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
"This opportunity to compete for the Bahamas is a dream of mine," Wright told CTV while training in Vancouver this week.
His story is a first reminiscent of the movie Cool Runnings, where a team of Jamaican sprinters formed a bobsleigh team to compete in Calgary's 1988 Olympics.
In 2010, Wright wants to be the first snowboarder hailing from an island nation known more for its surf and sand than its snowboarders.
"There's definitely a comparison to the Jamaican bobsleigh team in that they were the first for Jamaica and I'm the first for the Bahamas," said Wright.
While B.C.'s snowy mountains are a long way from the sandy beaches where Wright was born, they are much more familiar.
Wright has actually spent most of his life here in Canada. When he was just one year old, his parents divorced. He moved to Canada with his mother, and never went back.
But after nearly two decades, and some success as a member of Canada's national team, word of his skill reached the Bahamas. His Bahamian birth certificate became his ticket to ride.
"He's probably one of the better snowboarders in Canada -- I'd say top 10," said his Canadian coach Tom Hutchinson.
Knowing he no longer has to compete for a spot on Canada's team, Wright can focus on the big competition. He hopes to become the number one in the world.
"Well I want to win gold and that's part of what I'm doing. I'm taking the time and really working to be as good as I can be," he said.
Read a related Vancouver Sun article HERE
Bahamian Snowboarder has the Wright Stuff