Chef De Mission Dr Ian Hypolite says the main initiative for the T&T Olympic team in the next 100 days is ensuring the pre-olympic camp is successful, as the camp played a major role in the performances of the T&T team at the 2012 Games in London.
Yesterday, at a press conference held at the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) House on Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, to mark 100 days to go to the start of the Rio Olympics Hypolite spoke about some of the plans in the coming months. Hypolite said, “We plan every four years so that when you hear that there is only 100 days to go to Rio you wonder where did the time go. Time is short and there is a lot to do.
“Thus far we have five disciplines that have qualified for the Olympics. We are acutely aware of the impact that the performance of the T&T team had on the national community in 2012. We are very eager to reproduce that same type of atmosphere come Rio 2016. One of our major initiatives within the next 100 days is the hosting of a pre-olympic Games camp in Brazil.”
So far, rower Felice Aisha Chow, gymnast Marisa Dick, sailor Andrew Lewis, cyclist Njisane Phillip, boxer Nigel Paul and swimmer George Bovell have qualified for Rio.
Hypolite, who says the camp is likely to be held in Sao Paulo, said the camp is an integral part of T&T’s build up towards the games. “It is a very important part of our preparation. That particular aspect of our planning played a major role in terms of our performance in 2012. In these challenging times we are requesting assistance to make the camp a successful one.”
Hypolite anticipates a large contingent will represent T&T at the Olympic Games especially as many track and field athletes such as Machel Cedenio and Michelle-Lee Ahye have been performing at a high level of late. The Chef De Mission explained that the camp is not restricted to track and field athletes.
Annette Knott, who was the Chef De Mission for the 2012 T&T Olympic Games in London believes the pre-olympic camp makes a difference to team chemistry. Knott said, “That 2012 camp made a big difference to the atmosphere. We stayed in a luxury hotel which we felt the athletes deserved. The team got to bond before the games.”
President of the TTOC Brian Lewis stated, “We have a number of things planned in the next 100 days from the camp to the National Track and Field Championships because it forms the Olympic trials.” Lewis added that the Olympic youth camp will also take place leading up to the Olympic Games.
Lewis thanked the many sponsors which have come on board to make the Olympic drive a reality including Guardian Group, Toyota, Flow, Scotiabank among others.