Jun 13, 2024

It took 28 years for Aruban cycling to return to the Olympic Games, and Paris 2024 is the stage for this sport to once again represent this Caribbean island in the world’s top sporting event.

With the universality place granted to the Aruban Olympic Committee (COA), Shanayah Howell becomes the first female athlete from her country to qualify for an Olympic event and the third athlete in this sport.

Lucien Dirksz and Gerard van Vliet were the first Aruban cyclists to participate in the Olympic Games, when they both did so in the men’s individual road race in the 1992 edition of Barcelona. Dirksz repeated again in Atlanta 1996.

Howell is also the pioneer of cycling, BMX Racing specialty, adding a new achievement to her sports resume, which in this Olympic cycle has been on the rise.

On May 31, the COA informed the native of San Nicolas that she had been favored with the Olympic quota and will be making her debut in Paris 2024.

“When I received the call from Nicole (Hoevertzs) I was very surprised. I couldn’t believe that I had fulfilled a dream. Now I have to keep training hard,” said Shanayah.


Now with this new challenge, Shanayah explained that despite continuing to daydream, she recognizes the responsibility she has with the return of her sport to the Olympic Games in Paris 2024, and to be proud of all the work that together with her coaching staff and federation have done for a long time.

Prior to her trip to France, she reveals that she will be in Colombia at the end of June and beginning of July, doing a training base, looking for improvements to compete at the highest level, on August 1 and 2, at the BMX Stadium in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.


National Champion, and in 2017 she was titled World Champion in Canada, in addition to winning gold in Costa Rica in 2018, when she moved up to the Pro Elite class.

In addition, she is a bronze medalist of the Central American and Caribbean Games, San Salvador 2023.

She is the fourth Aruban athlete to qualify for this summer’s most important sporting event, alongside Mikèl Schreuders, Just van Aanholt and Ethan Westera.

Written by Noel Werleman


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