BRIAN LEWIS, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC), has urged his members as well as the national athletes (already qualified or vying for spots at the 2016 Olympic Games) to stay focussed on the task at hand.

The TTO C held a media conference yesterday at its Port of Spain office to commemorate 100 days before the start of the Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The TTO C president noted, “I think it’s important in the context of the milestone. I think it’s no secret that this particular Olympic Games has been well-publicised in the terms of the challenges Brazil has been facing in Rio - the Zika (virus), the whole political scenario. Even here in Trinidad and Tobago we’ve had challenges that we may not have had before.” Lewis continued, “it is important in the context of what it does, 100 days to go is a critical period in terms of testing your readiness, how prepared you are.

“There has been specific targets from the Olympic Committee’s perspective. If we are not there by now, it will be a struggle. For the athletes it’s also a critical stage because if you’re not fully into your preparation, you’re going to have problems.” The TTO C president stated, “we have been insisting all along that it’s important for National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) to be athlete-centred and to put the interest of the athletes first.

That is why distractions at this point in time (are) not helpful.” Lewis was asked how is the TTO C dealing with the distractions - local and foreign, and how are they staying focused on the forthcoming Games.

“From my perspective it’s really about staying focussed on the process,” Lewis replied. “Once we focus on (the) process, regardless of whatever the emotions may be, whatever the setbacks may be, what we really have to do is to stay calm and carry on. Both for the athletes and the Olympic Committee, challenges with the Olympic Games is a big thing.

Because it’s a big moment, everything gets amplified (and) magnified.

“The critical thing is to have an acute understanding of whatever it takes, whether it be the rules (or) regulations, and to be very clear as to where is the direction you want to go.”