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May 28, 2020

TTOC to roll out covid19 relief to athletes

The TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) is currently finalising the criteria needed for athletes to benefit…
May 26, 2020

OpEd: The IOC Stands in Solidarity With All Athletes and All Sports

Much has been written lately about the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s finances. Some of these…
May 26, 2020

Stellar example Duncan teaches art of adaptability

Marcus Duncan knows how to adapt to different circumstances. While other athletes have suffered because…
May 24, 2020

Chow remains focused Olympic rower trains harder during lockdown

For Team Trinidad and Tobago’s top rower Felice Aisha Chow, being defeated by the circumstamces…
May 23, 2020

TTOC President Lewis claims cancellation of Tokyo 2020 would put NOCs in "a big hole"

Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) President Brian Lewis claimed the cancellation of the Tokyo…
May 22, 2020

Lewis: Olympic cancellation not good for NOCs

Brian Lewis, president of the T&T Olympic Committee says a great number of National Organising…
May 18, 2020

Mother of invention Athlete Talks, Ultimate Garden Clash born out of Covid-19

I could not have imagined how excited I would get watching on my computer screen…

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"It's not a sac­ri­fice, it's a choice," says his­to­ry-mak­ing Amer­i­can track sprint­er Lau­ryn Williams. Williams was mak­ing the point in an in­ter­view about the chal­lenges ath­letes have to face. A cred­i­ble voice giv­ing re­al and need­ed ad­vice - an ath­lete who has seen life from the per­spec­tive of a con­tract­ed track and field star and as a free agent bob­sleigh com­peti­tor.

A four-time Olympian and three-time Olympic medal­list and one of on­ly five ath­letes in the his­to­ry of the Olympic Games to win medals at both the Sum­mer and Win­ter Olympics.

Her dec­o­rat­ed ath­let­ic ca­reer end­ed on a high at the 2014 Win­ter Games in Sochi, where she won the sil­ver medal in the two-woman bob­sleigh event.

Eight glob­al medals be­tween the Olympics and worlds, in­clud­ing the 2005 IAAF World Cham­pi­onships 100m ti­tle. Williams is the first Amer­i­can fe­male Olympian to earn a medal at both the Sum­mer and Win­ter Olympics with a sil­ver in the two-woman bob­sled with Elana Mey­ers at the 2014 Sochi Games.

In 2004, the then 20-year-old Uni­ver­si­ty of Mi­a­mi ju­nior won the 100m at the NCAA Out­door Cham­pi­onships in 10.97, the fastest Amer­i­can time that sea­son and the sec­ond-fastest time in the world. "It was the Olympic year and I was the fastest Amer­i­can", Wil­iams was quot­ed as say­ing.

But she had no idea how to nav­i­gate the pro­fes­sion­al op­por­tu­ni­ties that were now open to her af­ter her NCAA win.

"Do you go pro be­fore the Tri­als, dur­ing the Tri­als, or af­ter the Tri­als?" Williams said of her dilem­ma, one faced by every elite col­lege ath­lete look­ing to turn pro in a world or Olympic year. You have to de­cide if wait­ing is worth the risk for a bet­ter con­tract."

Williams ac­knowl­edges that many young ath­letes do not have the ap­pro­pri­ate sup­port sys­tem from the get-go.

Post her com­pet­i­tive ca­reer, the leg­endary track star is now a cer­ti­fied fi­nan­cial plan­ner and en­tre­pre­neur- founder of Worth Win­ning, a 100% vir­tu­al plan­ning com­pa­ny. Au­thor of the Oval Of­fice, a guide to be­com­ing a pro­fes­sion­al ath­lete.

Williams, who has Trinidad and To­ba­go roots, is on a mis­sion to share in­for­ma­tion, guide and ad­vise ath­letes on how to nav­i­gate the labyrinth of pro­fes­sion­al sport.

Her words of wis­dom are worth hear­ing, the busi­ness of pro­fes­sion­al sport is no jok­ing mat­ter, in­formed de­ci­sion mak­ing is a crit­i­cal suc­cess fac­tor.

Williams' vis­it to Trinidad and To­ba­go may be the cat­a­lyst for those will­ing to lis­ten, to learn and ben­e­fit from an ath­lete who achieved at the high­est lev­el of her sport.

Her sto­ry of the strug­gles- the ups and downs of life as an elite pro­fes­sion­al ath­lete will pro­vide.

Writ­ten by Bri­an Lewis.

Ed­i­tor's note:

Bri­an Lewis is the Prei­dent of T&T Olympic Com­mit­tee (TTOC) and the views ex­pressed are not nec­es­sar­i­ly those of the TTOC.