Table tennis fraternity mourns St Louis

MEMBERS of the table tennis fraternity, sporting administrators and a former TT athlete described former TT table tennis player Dexter St Louis as a legend and the greatest servant of the game.

St Louis,51, died due to what is being described as a short illness.

He was this country’s most decorated table tennis player having competed at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and at 40, participating at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He was the only athlete to represent TT, in the sport of table tennis, at the Olympics. St Louis, who was still good enough to represent this country at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, also represented TT at the Central American and Caribbean Games and the Pan American Games. St Louis, a multiple time Caribbean champion, was a formidable force with his stepdaughter Rheann Chung in mixed doubles. At the time of his death, he was in France, where he lived for a number of years.

President of the TT Olympic Committee(TTOC) Brian Lewis said, “I am really saddened by this news that has come as a shock. My condolences to his family. It’s a shock...Dexter has been around for years. His passion and commitment is unquestioned and his dedication to national service through table tennis.”

Lewis said St Louis is a sporting hero. “He stood up for what he believed, he is a TT sporting legend. To his wife and daughters my sincerest condolences. We at the TTOC are saddened at this news,” Lewis said.

TT sprint legend Ato Boldon wrote on Facebook, “RIP to one of TT’s finest soldiers in sport, Dexter St Louis.”

President of the TT Table Association David Joseph described St Louis as the best contributor to the game. “He is the greatest servant of the sport, because there is no person that has accomplished more than Dexter in the history of TT table tennis,” Joseph said.

Joseph said St Louis was someone upcoming athletes could emulate. “He is the most decorated player to ever pass through the history of the sport in TT. There is nothing we can say, but it is a great loss and he has left a legacy that is going to be something to look up to and respect for the younger ones coming up. It is very hard to match the achievements of Dexter for anybody coming up any time soon.”

David expressed his sympathy to the St Louis family. “We at the TT Table Tennis Association and by extension the TT table tennis fraternity will like to express our condolences and our prayers to the St Louis family – Rheann and her mother and her sister.”

Former president of the TT Table Tennis Association Ian Joseph said, “He has helped raise the profile of the sport, he kept it on the back page. This is real shocking.”

Collin Cudjoe, who travelled with St Louis as a manager to competitions such as the CAC Games and Commonwealth Games, said he was generous with his experience. “He was somebody always willing to share his knowledge and experience. He understood that table tennis was not something that would give everybody a livelihood, so he was always quick to advise to not put all your eggs in one basket.”