TRINIDAD AND Tobago’s first two Olympic medallists – weightlifters Rodney Wilkes and Lennox Kilgour – have been inducted posthumously into the Pan American Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame.
Wilkes was the first TT athlete to earn an Olympic medal. He bagged silver in the men’s featherweight division at the 1948 Games in London, England.
At the 1952 Games in Helsinki, Finland, Wilkes captured bronze in the same division while Kilgour became TT’s second Olympic medallist when he also took bronze in the men’s middle heavyweight category.
A statement issued by TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis thanked the federation for acknowledging the accomplishments of both former athletes.
“We are delighted that these two icons of Olympic weightlifting and sport in TT have been recognised by the continental weightlifting authorities. It's important that these two sporting heroes’ significant contribution be recognised and not be forgotten by the weightlifting world.
“The recognition of the outstanding achievements of TT’s first Olympic medallists is deeply appreciated given that this year the TT Olympic movement is celebrating 75 years. Weightlifting is one of the foundation stones of the TT Olympic Movement,” Lewis said.
In 1951, Wilkes won gold at the first Pan American Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Five years earlier, he became internationally known after placing first in the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Barranquilla, Colombia. He also won gold at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games.
Additionally, Kilgour was also a silver medallist at the 1951 Pan American Games and at the 1954 Commonwealth Games.
Lewis added that the TTOC has worked and assisted with the revitalisation and rebirth of the TT Weightlifting Association (TTWA) as a functioning member of the International Weightlifting Federation and the Pan Am Weightlifting Federation.
“In this regard, the TTWA executive committee’s undertaking of the responsibility to rebuild local Olympic weightlifting is acknowledged,” the statement added.
The TTWA executive committee members are Stacey Cateau (president), Anthony Marcano, Nadine Khan and Kwanieze John.