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Saturday 19 October 2019
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Ato inducted into ICS Wall of Fame

Former track star Ato Boldon has been inducted into the Institute of Caribbean Studies Wall of Fame. PHOTO COURTESY CSN
Former track star Ato Boldon has been inducted into the Institute of Caribbean Studies Wall of Fame. PHOTO COURTESY CSN

FOUR-time TT Olympic medallist Ato Boldon has been inducted into the Institute of Caribbean Studies' (ICS) Wall of Fame in Washington, DC.

He currently holds the TT national record in the men's 50, 60, and 200m races. At the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, he won bronze in the 200 and 100m, and in 2000 in Sydney, he won bronze in the 200m and silver in the 100m. He also medalled at several other competitions including the World Championships, Pan American Games and Commonwealth Games.

An elated Boldon told Newsday he first saw the news on Twitter after coming off the air while commentating at the Adidas Boost Boston Games on Sunday.

Boldon said June has been a difficult month for him "for many reasons" so the induction was a "welcome surprise" as the ICS is well-respected. After an illustrious track career, Boldon joined the NBC Sports Group in 2007 and now serves as the lead track and field analyst.

He is the only track and field broadcaster to be nominated for an Emmy award. In 2013, he was nominated in the category of Outstanding Sports Personality, Sports Event Analyst for his contribution to the NBC Sports Group's coverage of the 2012 London Olympics. And in 2017, he was awarded the Sports Illustrated TV analyst of the year.

"When I got into the business I wanted to be the best, I wanted to stand out, I wanted to make my sport proud. I think I’ve more than done that," he said. "Those accolades indicate to me that my work is respected. Track and field doesn’t always get a lot of attention in the USA, so I’m proud to represent my sport well."

He said he is proud of his broadcast career as it was something he had to figure out on his own since he had no previous experience. He added that he prefers coaching and broadcasting to running.

"There was no blueprint for me when I got into this business. I hadn’t been trained in this field at all, and nobody from the Caribbean had ever been a lead Olympic announcer in the USA. Running is something that came a lot more naturally. I had to figure out broadcasting quickly, or I’d have been gone already."

With brilliant careers as an athlete and a broadcaster, Boldon has also distinguished himself as a coach with TT sprinter Khalifa St Fort, 21, and Jamaican Brianna Williams, 17, enjoying success under his tutelage.

Boldon is expected to visit the Wall of Fame in July when he goes to speak with Congress in Washington for an NBC initiative.

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