The Olympic Games have drawn to a close and members of Team TTO are returning home to mixed emotions from their country people.
Many lamented the medal drought this Olympics; some even went as far as to publicly criticize, jeer at and send abusive messages to our athletes in Rio.
Our lone medallist, Keshorn Walcott even addressed the criticism of his fellow athletes in his post-event interview, telling ESPN interviewer Felix Sanchez that he hope his medal would give Team TTO “an ease up”.
However, LoopTT notes that there was a number of significant achievements by Team TTO in these Olympic Games. From record-breaking runs to historic participation in a range of new athletic fields, Team TTO has shown great athletic fortitude in representing a country of just 1.3 million people.
Here are 13 reasons Trinbagonians had to celebrate this Olympics:
- Keshorn Walcott won bronze in the javelin—Trinidad and Tobago’s only medal at Rio 2016 and 19th medal overall
- Trinidad and Tobago has now won at least one medal at six consecutive Olympic Games (12 medals)—the best run in this country's history at the Games (T&T has failed to medal at nine Olympic Games)
- George Bovell III competed in a record fifth Olympic Games (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016)
- Michelle Lee Ahye made it to the finals of the women’s 100m and 200m—the first T&T woman to make it to both finals at the same Olympics
- Michelle Lee Ahye also broke her own national record, set in June, of 22.33 by running 22.25 in her 200m semi-final
- Machel Cedenio finished 4th in the 400m—he broke Ian Morris’ national record set in the 1992 Olympic final, where Morris also finished 4th
- Trinidad and Tobago’s women’s team made it to an Olympic final for the second successive time—and third time overall (1984, 2012, and 2016)
- Trinidad and Tobago’s men's 4x100m relay team made it to their 4th consecutive final. The team first made an Olympic final in 2004 and has now qualified for every final since then
- Cleopatra Borel made it to her 1st Olympic final in the shot put this year. She placed 10th in the qualifying round at the 2004 Olympics.
- Njisane Phillip qualified for his second consecutive Olympic Games (2012, 2016)
- Boxer Nigel Paul made his very first Olympic debut this year but was knocked out in his first round against Nigerian heavyweight Efe Ajagba. His event was still an accomplishment as the 27-year-old only began competing a year and a half before the Olympics.
- Christopher George was the first judoka to qualify for the Olympic Games in history
- Felice Aisha Chow was Trinidad and Tobago’s first rowing Olympian. She finished 22nd overall
- Andrew Lewis competed in his 2nd Olympics Games, eight months after suffering horrific injuries in a freak accident in Rio de Janeiro
- Trinidad and Tobago had representation for the first time in gymnastics in the Olympics in the form of Marisa Dick.