The FIFA beach Soccer World Cup kicking off in the Bahamas on Thursday got an endorsement from a former Olympic athletics star, America’s Carl Lewis at the weekend.
According to the FIFA website, the National Beach Soccer Arena at Malcolm Park welcomed Lewis as a very special guest on Saturday – five days ahead of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
Lewis is a nine-time Olympic champion Carl Lewis. The former American sprinter, who claimed ten silver and gold medals in total during four separate Olympic Games, visited the beach soccer facility close to Sir Sidney Poitier Bridge, and was hugely impressed by what he saw.
Lewis – who also picked up nine gold medals during three World Championships – was eager to urge locals to check out the upcoming event, between 27 April and 7 May, highlighting the impact the sport has had, both in the region and globally.
“I think it’s amazing,” he said. “I’m a big football fan and my brother played professionally, and to see how the evolution of a new sport is reaching out to the community, that’s the best thing about it and I think we can all learn from it.
“I hope a lot of people from within athletics come and watch these fast-paced, exciting games and get some ideas for our sport as well.”
The action gets underway in the Bahamian capital on Thursday when Iran take on Mexico, with the opening day’s fixtures also seeing Ecuador against Senegal, Nigeria’s clash with Italy and the hosts’ first game versus Switzerland.