It was an unforgettable moment of glory for golden girl Flora Duffy and 57 minutes of pure emotion for her proud parents.
All the anxiety was worth it for Charlie and Maria Duffy, who watched their daughter cross the finishing line to become Bermuda’s second Commonwealth Games gold medal-winner and first female with the distinction on Wednesday.
The couple, who wore “Go Flora Go!” shirts in the grandstand in Australia, spoke to The Royal Gazette minutes after Flora made history.
Maria Duffy said: “The glory is all hers.”
Charlie Duffy said there were a few nervous moments as his daughter made a late arrival to the start line at Southport Broadwater Parklands in Australia’s Gold Coast.
He said: “When she didn’t show up at the beginning I was terrified. I thought, ‘Has the pressure got to her?’ She was just staying out of the sun; that’s what she does.”
Mrs Duffy added that her daughter’s hard work and dedication had paid off.
She said: “She’s earned all the respect. She’s done the hard work. You always hope it pays off on days like today. It all played out perfectly for her.
Back in Bermuda, brothers Joel and Campbell Duffy cheered their sister on every stroke, pedal and stride of the way at the Docksider Pub & Restaurant on Front Street.
Joel Duffy, president of Robin Hood Football Club, said: “That was absolutely glorious. I’m just so happy for Flora as I know just how much this meant to her.”
He added: “I’m happy my parents got to see Flora win such a prestigious medal in such convincing fashion. I am sure there were lots of tears.
“It was great for everyone here tonight to be out supporting her. It was great for everyone to see her at her best.”
Flora, 30, annihilated the field in the women’s triathlon.
She finished the 750-metre swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run in 56 min 50 sec, a staggering 43 seconds ahead of Jessica Learmonth of England in second.
Charlie Duffy said: “The amazing thing is how far she beats these people. These are some of the best in the world and she just annihilates them.
“She was so built up, especially at home, and there was a lot of pressure on her.”
He added Flora’s priority was now a hat trick of ITU World Triathlon Series titles as she prepared for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The ITU World Triathlon will be held in Bermuda later this month.
Charlie Duffy said: “She’s never lived up to her high standards at the Olympics and, who knows, based on today, a medal would be nice.”
Joel Duffy said: “I hope the support here at home is the same when the ITU event comes.”
He said the gold win cleared a “big hurdle” for his sister in the run-up to the race on home soil.
He added: “I think this is a lot of pressure lifted off her shoulders.
“I feel like she can just come to Bermuda and enjoy it, to a certain extent.
“I think she’s really going to tear it up in Bermuda when she comes here.”
Campbell Duffy said that he was proud of his sister’s win.
He added: “I can’t wait to see what she’ll do on April 28.”