A 63-year-old Barbados grandfather who used to smash fearsome West Indies bowler Joel Garner round a cricket pitch is taking pictures for Commonwealth Video games gold within the males’s pistol — after surviving a near-death expertise final yr.
Bernard Chase, immediately recognisable together with his grey-streaked dreadlocks and wiry beard, suffered a coronary heart assault whereas biking and solely made it onto the aircraft to Australia after getting the all-clear from his heart specialist.
“My buddy informed me I simply collapsed on my bike,” the pistol-toting fruit and veg farmer informed AFP in an interview. “I awakened two days later in hospital. I used to cycle in a bunch and earlier than we trip we are saying a prayer,” added Chase, preventing again tears.
“I keep in mind praying, however the subsequent factor I knew I used to be in hospital. They put me on a treadmill and discovered I had a blockage in one of many small vessels of the guts — I’m fortunate to be right here.”
The spritely granddad, referred to as “Ras” to his team-mates, underwent coronary heart surgical procedure final August and insists he’s in tip-top form to contest his fourth Commonwealth Video games.
Father-of-four Chase, who made his Video games debut in Manchester 16 years in the past, bears a passing resemblance to wild-haired Hollywood pirate Jack Sparrow when he goals his gun, resulting from his uncommon taking pictures fashion.
He shoots together with his proper hand whereas focusing together with his left eye to compensate for a glaucoma drawback.
“Folks assume I’m just a little little bit of a freak as a result of I’m left-eye dominant,” the Barbadian record-holder mentioned with a chuckle.
“Most individuals stand 45 levels to the goal and produce up the pistol to their proper eye. If I stand like that I may by no means shoot straight.”
– Cricket dream –
Chase, who took up taking pictures just a little over 20 years in the past, as soon as dreamt of taking part in cricket for the West Indies alongside large quick bowler Garner, his former classmate.
“I had goals,” he smiled. “Joel Garner went to high school with me and we performed cricket collectively. ‘Massive Chook’ wasn’t a nasty cricketer — he bowled at me and I bought some lashes in him too!”
Chase, who additionally performed soccer and flirted with athletics in school, shrugged: “I wasn’t going to make the Barbados cricket workforce, not to mention the West Indies workforce — so I took up taking pictures.”
Chase’s greatest Commonwealth Video games performances thus far got here in Manchester — a ninth-place effort within the 50m pairs — however he promised to come back out all weapons blazing on the Gold Coast to make his household proud again residence in Bridgetown.
“My daughter particularly thinks her dad is the best,” he mentioned. “I’m seeking to be within the bunch right here. I’m a champion, I’m going to be round for a very long time to come back.”
Requested about the way it feels to drag on the Barbados workforce colors and compete for the Caribbean island, Chase puffed out his cheeks.
“It feels nice, man,” he mentioned. “It makes you are feeling worthwhile, that life is value dwelling. It makes you are feeling even larger than Joel Garner!”