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High expectations for T&T athletes says Lewis

Monday, October 14, 2013
Annette Knott, secretary general and Brian Lewis, president, National Olympic Committee of Trinidad and Tobago, at the PASO meeting in Toronto. photo: William Doyle-Marshall

The president of the T&T Olympic Committee Brian Lewis and secretary general Annette Knott are confident that their country will provide a large continent to the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.


Speaking at the end of this week’s meeting of the general assembly of the Pan American Sports Organisation’s (PASO) where Lima, Peru was selected to host the 2019 games, they confessed that expectations are very high amongst Trinidadians and Tobagonians for the next major games two years away. Having set a target of ten Olympic gold medals by the year 2024, Lewis emphasised “we have to raise the bar and raise the level”.


“I don’t think that T&T will allow and expect us to set our bars lower than the historic medal count that we achieved in the London 2012 Olympics,” he added. This means athletes have to match high expectations when they perform in Toronto and at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The president predicts that T&T will be going with the biggest ever team and intends shattering the Commonwealth medal take in Glasgow next year. He believes it’s going to be a little dicey at the Central and Caribbean American Games in Vera Cruz as that is in October-November which is not really a good time for his track and field and swimming athletes.


“After that we have 2015 the Pan Am Games in Toronto which is again in July. It’s a little further out and a lot can happen between now and then but I would imagine we would have a strong team,” he predicts. 


What is really attractive about Toronto is the fact that just like London, it is home to many Caribbean people. So he visualises as the time gets closer, there will be tremendous build up and support. “After that we have Rio but inside of that we have the youth Olympics in Nanjing, China, (August next year). We are very optimistic and we intend to take it to the next level,” a confident Lewis explained. 


The T&T delegation congratulated Lima, Peru for its success. Lewis suspects that strategically, the fact that they placed the games in the month of July and August was a move that would have worked for the South American country. Lewis found that interesting given the fact that that is the winter time in South America. But from all appearances, it seems that Lima tends to have a mild winter. “That is an interesting development in the terms of the Pan American Games”, Lewis said “because we may see a trend developing where the Pan Am Games which is essentially a summer games is shifted from the summer in the South American region to the winter and that’s a development. I look forward to interestingly to see how that goes in the future.”


Meanwhile, The Toronto 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games Organising Committee (TO2015) congratulated Lima for winning the honour of hosting the 2019 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games a first for the country. Previously, Peru hosted the South American Games in 1990. “We want to congratulate the Lima team and all Peruvians on their successful bid to host the 2019 Games,” said Ian Troop, chief executive officer of TO2015. “Lima will be a wonderful host. We look forward to sharing our knowledge with them when they join us in 2015 for the Games Observer Program.”


Lima was selected by delegates attending the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) General Assembly in Toronto from a pool of four cities—La Punta, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; and Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela.


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