When asked how many texts Christine Thompson sends her son in a day, her answer is imprecise yet perfectly illustrative.
“I’m a mother,” she says. “I do probably way too much. But I like to be in touch a lot.”
This week the texts have taken a different tone: “I should have come.” “I wish I was there.”
As a competitive sailor, Cy, 27, is often away from his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands, seeing his family in short stints only three or four times a year.
In the past few months he’s been to Mallorca, Veracruz, and the Netherlands. In the fall he’s off to China for a World Cup event.
On Friday night, he was in Toronto, carrying his home territory’s flag in the Pan Am Games opening ceremony. And contrary to what his mom had him believing, she was there, too.
“I was walking with the flag and someone said, There’s your mom,” Cy said moments after, while hugging his mom in the stands.
“I looked over and actually got a little emotional, to be honest. Got a couple tears running.
“She’s always been my biggest fan. I love her to death. And she’s sneaky like that,” he added.
Though she’s been watching her son sail since he was four years old, Christine and her husband don’t get to see him compete much these days.
“He’s 27, he’s a young man. So we can’t just follow him everywhere. We want to, it’s just that we can’t do all of them.”
As the only U.S. Virgin Islands team member to have already qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympics, he was chosen as the Pan Am flag bearer.
“You don’t miss that,” she said.
Cy has been acting as an unofficial flag bearer as long as Christine remembers.
In hotel rooms, the hotel lawn, or the lobby if they can, he and his teammates plant a flag, first thing upon arriving for regattas.
“It’s like they were marking their territory. They always want to represent.”
Cy will be competing in a laser during the Pan Am sailing competition. The free, non-ticketed event can be seen from the shores of Sugar Beach July 12 to 19.