THE DIFFERENCE between qualifying for the Olympics and sealing a medal could come down to the support the athlete receives on his or her journey.
TT's Olympic shot-putter Portious Warren, 25, defied the odds by breaking her own personal record on her Olympic debut to advance past the qualifying stage in Tokyo on Friday, launching the sphere 18.75m. She placed 11th overall a day later, reaching 18.32m.
Almost immediately after, Warren announced her intention not only to qualify for Paris in three years, but to win a medal.
But she made it clear that the journey to the Olympics requires tangible support, starting immediately. The usual four-year cycle will be reduced to three in this case to compensate for the year-long postponement of the Tokyo games, owing to the pandemic.
On Wednesday, Warren shared a "moment of transparency" on Facebook, giving a glimpse of the dedication required not only to reach the Olympics but to reach the final.
She posted: "For those who know me personally you know of the many roadblocks I faced on my way to becoming an Olympic finalist... From coming out of pocket for all of my meets, making sure I did therapy so that I will stay focus and keep my mental health in check."
Warren said she would get up at 11.30pm, work from 12am-9am and then go to practice right after, "in hopes of keeping my Olympic dreams alive.
"Sometimes I won’t know how my bills (were) going to be paid but I always found a way," she said.
"Not only because I have always dreamt about it, but to give the youths of my nation the hope, the faith and motivation they need to go after what they want and never limit themselves despite the difficulties."
She closed by saying she already intends to reach the last eight in Paris.
"Only this time around I hope I have the support I need to make sure that I can dedicate all my time to training and getting my body to optimal performance level."
She invited corporate Trinidad and Tobago to contact her to help her begin her latest journey.