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Wednesday, 19 February 2020 00:38

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Tokyo 2020 #1YearToGo

Logo TOKYO 2020 International Olympic Committee
Logo Omega Offical Timekeeper

Cartan Global | Tokyo 2020


Sport is in for a tough ride as the country’s economic horizon look very, very, challenging. Where do we go from here?

There is an ebb and flow to life on the twin-island Republic that over time can be a double edged sword. An inspiration while at the same time as frustrating as can be.

TT$600 billion and more later, we are borrowing to pay public servants. Our economy is in dire straits. On Thursday, we celebrate our 55th Independence day. It’s such a temptation to look at it with a rancid lens. TT$600 billion later, we have come to this.

But as eye-watering as the stark reality of our profligate ways take root, the flip side is that there have been awesome moments of inspiration and sport has contributed in no small way to the upliftment of T&T.

But the reality is the reality. Sport in such an economic downturn may well be seen to be a luxury no matter the perceived benefits.

When a country or a business is borrowing to pay salaries, the day of reckoning can’t be far away. Tough and hard choices will have to be made. Denial is a delaying tactic that brings temporary respite.

Where do we go from here?

In a most profound way the words of the late Deborah John provides guidance. According to one of her colleagues, “DJ” as she was affectionately called, once said by way of advice: “Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do”.

In reading the tributes for the former Express publications editor many in the entertainment and cultural landscape described her as a cultural stalwart. The thought struck me that TT$600 billion can’t replace national icons and treasures such as Deborah John.

I may have met Ms John on a few occasions most if not all the introductions would have come by way of a mutual friend Nicole Duke-Westfield.

What I do recall is her courtesy in acknowledging that she had received the invitation to the T&TOC (T&T Olympic Committee) annual awards and her assurance that it will be covered.

The importance of sport and it’s cultural dimensions didn’t escape Ms John. T&T is such a blessed place but yet so exasperating.

Where do we go from here?

A good place to start would be to appreciate and recognise that there is an era of entertainment, cultural and sport stalwarts that we are allowing to leave our space and carry with them the priceless knowledge, memories, history, lessons, achievements and experiences that no amount of oil and gas dollars can buy or replace. They are unheralded- their contributions under appreciated.

Where do we go from here?

It’s not the $600 billion or more oil and gas revenue that has allegedly gone down the drain but the imagination and passion of a people that will make the difference.

Where do we go from here T&T?

Brian Lewis is the President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the T&TOC.