LIMA, PERU — Dr. Rickey Davis has become synonymous with sports-medical service in The Bahamas. In and outside of the country, when and wherever the Bahamian sports brand has a forum, Dr. Davis is in place with a prominent presence. As a result, he is one of the most noted and esteemed local medical practitioners within the sports world.
He is in Lima presently, as sports competitors, mentors and technical personnel get ready to represent The Bahamas at the 18th Pan American Games. Medicine is his priority and he is ever-focused on ensuring top-level health for members of Team Bahamas, but utilizing his vast experience on local, regional and international sports stages, he stands ready and willing, always, to give advice in other areas.
A no-nonsense but patriotic nationalist, he does not hesitate to speak to and demonstrate his great passion for the concept of “togetherness in all representation”.
“When we all work together in every phase of representation, then we do what is best for our country,” he proudly proclaims.
Such is the mettle of the man who has been in a quality sports-medical service role for about 30 years.
“I got involved with school sports and also I worked with the first Bahama Games (1989). I was the third person on board with Dr. Patrick Roberts and Dr. Evanette McPhee. After the games were so successful, a lot of individuals wanted me to participate in their particular sporting events. Whatever sporting events were going on in The Bahamas, I got requests to participate.
“That’s how I basically got fully into providing medical service in sports. At that point, I was approached by the Bahamas Olympic Association (now Bahamas Olympic Committee). Dr. Roberts was the chief medical officer at the time. Then, there was also Dr. Willard Thompson, and then myself. That’s how I continued making my contribution in sports through medical service,” informed Davis.
He has persevered over the years, meeting the demand of his role, despite the sacrifice of often being away from his immediate family, and even at his own personal expense, at times. Much like the pioneer providers of medical service in sports before him, such as Dr. Cecil Bethel and Dr. Roberts, the straight-talking Dr. Davis keeps pushing on.
“You know, I just enjoy helping the Bahamian athletes, to see them start from scratch and see many of them become successful. The way I look at it in life, somebody has to contribute time and effort, in helping out the youth of The Bahamas and the senior athletes to ensure that they are medically fit to participate in their events.
“One of our biggest problems is that a lot of athletes, because of financial situations, do not have any medical personnel to help them. In my field, I am able to have other physicians donate their free time in helping the athletes reach the best performance that is possible,” Davis stated further.
Immense satisfaction comes for the good doctor when his work and that of his colleagues pay dividends in athletes who have success against the best in the world, but “essentially give the best they have”. He delights in their successes but is equally as joyful when he determines that athletes go beyond that which was expected.
“I like to watch athletes who persons believed would not have become outstanding, turn out to be extremely outstanding. I watch them win gold medals for The Bahamas. That’s the most enjoyment you could ever have, and my position here is general because I do not wish to pick out any particular athlete. I am proud of each and every athlete who participates, whether a medal is won or not. They are competing for The Bahamas, my country, and they make me proud,” said Davis.
What are his disappointments?
“My disappointments, basically are the lack of finances for the athletes and the limited help in assisting them. I think truly, that the government of The Bahamas needs to emphasize more in some way, help for the athletes, medically, physically and mentally, as they strive to be successful.
“We have had the ongoing problem, regarding athletes who are not academically inclined (and cannot attain the grade point for scholarships). We should have a program here in The Bahamas whereby we can still assist those not at a certain academic level and they could still maximize their various abilities in sports,” he suggested.
Meanwhile, he pledges to continue in his role, providing medical service in sports and otherwise, as he is called upon, in order to enhance The Bahamas’ sports brand.
The 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru, is just another chapter for Dr. Davis.
The legacy grows.
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