The nature of elite level and Olympic sport is such that staying in celebratory mode is detrimental to achieving the consistency required and the persistence necessary to build on and learn from victories and defeats.
Gold Coast 2018 saw T&T coming away with three medals—two gold and a silver. A comparison with Glasgow 2014 will look at the fact that T&T mounted the rostrum on eight occasions (three silver and five bronze) with no first place.
For the record, the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Jamaica, is still regarded as T&T’s finest moment in sports on the global multi-sport stage—when we won five medals (2 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze).
In the 440 yards race, Wendell Mottley won the Gold with Kent Bernard taking the Silver.
In the 100 yards, Edwin Roberts won the Bronze.
In the 220 yards, Edwin Roberts won the Silver Medal.
In the 4 x 440 yards relay, the Trinidad and Tobago team of Lennox Yearwood, Kent Bernard, Edwin Roberts and Wendell Mottley won the Gold Medal breaking the World Record in the process.
It is interesting to note that that record still stands since this was the last international meeting in which the races were run in yards. The switch to metres took place immediately afterwards.
It’s important to appreciate that an essential element of the global sport industry is the emotion that drives the sport industry. Talk shows, pundits, opinions and commentary.
The media has an essential role involving the public, supporters and fans alike. The media drives the entertainment aspect of the industry. Understanding and respecting the role of the media is essential—their job—that they have their objectives and targets to meet. Failure to appreciate that everyone has a role is what causes discomfort.
The public needs to know, the media to deliver news, information and perspective. There is a saying in respect of the media that is said in jest, one would hope, is that the truth must never get in the way of a good story.
The challenge to arrive at a place where trust is established. A trust built on respect for one another. The media has their job to do let them do it. Understanding and respecting that provides clarity of mind.
The line can be crossed but the reality is that it’s important to not take it personal. Taking things personal fuels the drama.
There are many different ways to go about ensuring that sport in T&T can be self reliant and self sufficient. The negativity associated with sport in T&T is not the fault of the media. It’s the fault of sport stakeholders underestimating the role and responsibilities of the media.
Now, it’s not just the traditional media, there is also social media which has its own rules.
In the social media era, what is news and what isn’t news? What is private and what is not private? What is fake news?
Gold Coast 2018, provided a number of talking points, with everyone having a point of view—the choice to be well informed, better informed or fact based is a choice and an opportunity.
Gold Coast 2018 also saw T&T’s Commonwealth Games gold medal haul move from eight to the magic number, ten.
Ten gold medals! Ten or more Olympic Gold medals by 2024, is the goal.
Ten Commonwealth Games gold medals by 2018 has materialised.
Ten! The magic number.