Former American cyclist and two-time Olympic medallist Erin Hartwell has returned to Trinidad and Tobago to take up the post as the new technical director of TT cycling.
The 48-year-old Hartwell, who copped silver at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, United States and bronze at the 1992 edition in Barcelona, Spain, was formerly involved as the TT Cycling Federation (TTCF) high performance director, before his contract was terminated in November 2010.
In a media conference on Wednesday, at the National Cycling Centre in Couva, Hartwell stated, “Right now our objective is to put (TT) athletes in a position where they’re competitive in any event that they go, whether it’s the Pan Am Games, the 2019 Commonwealth Games leading into Tokyo (the 2020 Olympics). And our objective is to have the best possible team on the line at all times.”
Hartwell, who is married to a Trinidadian, was the coach of the Canada team at last year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“I had always wanted to return to Trinidad and Tobago for four distinct reasons,” he said. “I believe in the incredible potential of cycling in TT. I have a desire to promote this amazing country to the rest of the world through goodwill and sports. This world-class facility (referring to the Cycling Centre) is a crown jewel for the Caribbean and the western hemisphere. And my Trini wife does not like Canadian winter.”
Hartwell was hired by the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT) on a three-year deal effective September 2017.