Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 22nd 2015 Contents A49
Tuesday, December 22, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
How serious do we take the achievements of our
Olympic athletes? Do the people of Trinidad and
Tobago appreciate the effort that is required of our
Olympians and those who aspire to be a champion?
Can we walk through our international airport and
see each of our Olympic medallists? Or is it that we
neglect and take for granted what their achievements
have done for T&T?
Is it a case of out of sight out of mind except for
the year of the Olympic Games?
T&T s Olympic medal quest began with the foun-
dation stone of Rodney Wilkes in London in 1948.
Wilkes story is put bluntly as a triumph of one man s
Lifetime of effort for moment of glory
indomitable will and refusal
to be characterised by any-
thing other than his own
vision of excellence.
In 1952, Lennox Kilgour
took up the challenge even
as Wilkes continued on.
In those days to say that
there was little if any help
would be stating the obvi-
In 1964 Edwin Roberts,
Wendell Mottley and the
men 4 x 400 relay team lifted a newly independent
T&T to the Olympic podium.
There then followed decades of Olympic podium
futility when it seemed participating and qualifying
represented the best of this country s Olympic high
But in 1976, Hasely Crawford became the fastest
man in the world and T&T celebrated its first ever
Olympic gold medal.
Then came two decades of representation and whole
hearted endeavour went unrewarded.
An Olympic podium finish seemed a step too far.
The came 1996 and 2000---the era of Ato Boldon.
He doubled up in in the sprints, stepping off the
Olympic stage with a bag of four Olympic medals.
George Bovell 111 created history in 2004 when he
became the first local swimmer to claim a coveted
Olympic medal. Bovell remains the flag bearer for
swimming to this day. His dedication, determination
and longevity all without the taint of performance
enhancing drugs is a reflection of an indomitable will
and strength of character that many take for grant-
ed.In 2008, Richard Thompson with his individual
silver medal to go along with the podium finish of the
men s sprint relay team Marc Burns, Emmanuel Cal-
lender, Keston Bledman and Thompson, came up
trumps for the red, white and black.
London 2012 was the high water mark in terms
of overall medal haul, Keshorn Walcott, mounted Olym-
pus and claimed gold number two for T&T. The twin
Island Republic created its own Olympic history with
a four-medal haul.
Lalonde Gordon, the men s 4 x100 m relay team of
Thompson, Burns, Callender and Bledman repeated
their feat of four years prior by again straddling the
rostrum. The 4 x 400 relay team of Ade Alleyne Forte,
Jarrin Solomon, Lalonde Gordon and Deon Lendore
also added their names to the Olympic podium honour
Our Olympic medal tally is now 18. Each one is pre-
cious, hard earned and a triumph over adversity.
The twin Island Republic has been well served by
its Olympians those who have medalled and those who
have given their all to qualify and participate.
An Olympic year beckons. Those dedicated and
committed athletes, male and female, young and old,
who carry in their bosoms, sinews and lungs a dream
of Olympic glory---not only for themselves but for their
their beloved country simply cannot lament on whatever
problems or adversity there may be.
They simply have to get on with their relentless and
daily struggle in the pursuit of excellence.
There are no guarantees that years of sacrifice and
toil will be rewarded. Once every four years an Olympic
champion is crowned. But the climb to the podium
requires a lifetime of daily effort and an unwavering
THINGS THAT MATTER
Brian Lewis is the president of the Trinidad
and Tobago Olympic Committee. The views
expressed are not necessarily those of the
TTOC. Purchase Official Team TTO Tee Shirts
at The FAN CLUB - Movietowne, Gulf City Mall,
Trincity Mall and Aboutique Mall. All proceeds
go to the TTOC #10Golds24 Athlete Welfare
and Preparation Fund.
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