Soca music and blow-out carnivals don’t exactly go hand in hand with sporting greatness but as all proud Trinidadian and Tobagonians will be quick to tell you, this nation is slowly building its Olympic presence.
This summer’s games will mark the nation’s 17th appearance at the Olympics since 1964 and you can be sure that the T&T team are looking to seriously up their medal tally in Rio.
With a total of 18 medals won thus far, this dual-island nation managed to make history at the 2012 games by winning the most Olympic medals overall. But as we well know, the Trinidad and Tobago team are highly competitive and will most certainly be out trying to beat their own record this year.
And who better to shoulder this responsibility than Trinidad’s home-grown talent, 400m hurdler, Jehue Gordon. Unlike a lot of the nation’s athletes who opt for a scholarship in America, Gordon chose to live and train at home
A true Trinidadian in every sense, he advocated that he could still train and compete at a world-class level while residing in Trinidad and “eating his mother’s food”. Indeed, all Trini’s know just how tempting a mother’s Callaloo can be!
However, as a twin island of contrasting cultures and influences, Trinis and Tobagans work best when they work together. Never has T&T’s team spirit been better reflected than in the nation’s relay teams.
Despite its size, relay teams from Trinidad and Tobago have consistently been a force to be reckoned with at the Olympics. From winning their first bronze medal in Tokyo in 1964 to 2012 when the men’s relay team became the first in 20 years to win medals in both the 4 x100 and the 4 x 400m relays.
No mean feat, we would say!
But while the men will look to repeat their longstanding Olympic success, this year it’s all about girl power. All eyes will be on the 4 x100m ladies relay team in Rio as they look to also make history by becoming the nation’s first women’s relay team to win an Olympic medal. And after their impressive bronze medal performance at last year’s world championships, the odds are certainly in their favour!
But we all know that those born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago don’t need a reason to celebrate. So whether or not the nations’ athletes deliver on their medal-winning promise one thing is for certain, there’s going to be a serious party in August and we just hope we’re invited!
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