SHAMFA CUDJOE, Minister of Sport and Community Development, has extended best wishes to the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic team (athletes and officials), ahead of the 2020 Games, which will take place in Tokyo, Japan from Friday until August 8.
In a media release, Cudjoe wrote, "Sport in its various incarnations presents an opportunity to bring people together. It fosters a sense of community amongst fans, who may start off as strangers but soon become friends or even family through this unique and common bond. Sport is the unifier that brings an indescribable joy to nations far and wide.
"We, the citizens of TT," she said, "are honoured to stand steadfastly with our team, as Team TTO gets ready to make magic in Tokyo. When I reflect on the past 16 months, the sacrifices we have all made to arrive at this juncture, I am indeed humbled. Humbled by the passion and resilience embodied by mankind as we overcome the many hurdles presented by the pandemic. Humbled by the perseverance and grit shown by our athletes and their coaches to ensure that we remain relevant, ready and competitive. Humbled by the devotion and determination of our athletes who have chosen to remain hopeful in our darkest days and represent the red, white and black on the international stage."
The games were postponed for a year by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) because of to the coronavirus pandemic. They will be staged without fans, as there has been a resurgence of covid19 cases in Tokyo, with the Japanese Government imposing a state of emergency.
Focusing on the 33 TT athletes who will be competing, Cudjoe said, "While this year’s games were plunged into deep uncertainty, your commitment remained unwavered and your coaches, and administrators kept hope alive by extending their support. You trained rigorously in the most testing of environments, honed your mental aptitude, you earned Olympic standard in your respective disciplines and now you’re finally headed to the games."
She said the government also wanted to acknowledge the dedication of the TT Olympic Committee, "whose remarkable thrust for increased female representation in sport continues to revolutionise sport development in our country. The TTOC continues to holistically develop various sporting disciplines and provide much-needed support to the Government and the sporting fraternity."
As Minister of Sport and Community Development, she said she felt privileged to "lead the sporting industry during this time."
She said she had been able to witness first-hand "the unparalleled volume of determination, grit and courage demonstrated by the sporting fraternity, more than (at) any other period in our nation's history."