Multiple tributes poured in on Tuesday as family and friends honoured the life and achievements of late three-time Trinidad and Tobago Olympian Deon Lendore.
Lendore, 29, died on Monday night in a car accident in Texas. He was part of the national 4x400m relay men who captured bronze at the 2012 London Olympic Games. He was also a three-time World Indoor Championships medallist.
Lendore’s passing sent shockwaves throughout the global track and field fraternity. He was expected to return to TT next week.
His track coach at Texas A&M University, Pat Henry, told KBTX media that the crash happened just outside Bryan-College Station on Highway 6, in the Brazos Valley region of Texas.
The TT quarter-miler was serving at Texas A&M as a volunteer assistant coach with 400m and 800m running athletes. Henry said Lendore was on his way home from practice at the time of the crash.
Brian Lewis, TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) president, said Lendore's passing has rocked him.
He said, “Words cannot adequately express our sadness at the devastating and untimely loss of three-time Olympian and Olympic and World Championship bronze medallist Deon Lendore who has been an inspiration and motivation to us all both on and off the track.
“Deon has flown the TT flag with pride, honour, patriotism and an indomitable will throughout his career while helping and inspiring many. We express our deepest and heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, teammates, coaches, Abilene Club, Arima community and all who he would have touched.
“It is a sad day for the TTOC and Commonwealth Sport Movement.”
Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe sent condolences to Lendore’s family, friends and the sports fraternity.
She said, “We salute Lendore for his tremendous contributions to the development and promotion of athletics. Lendore was truly an inspiration to all of us and has proudly represented this country.
“He epitomised hope and joy each time his feet landed on the track. He was indeed a trailblazer, a life gone too soon. We thank him for everything he has done and for giving distinguished and diligent service to TT. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”
Lendore graduated in the Aggie (Texas A&M) class of 2015 with 11 South Eastern Conference championships. He had a personal best men’s 400m time of 44.36 seconds.
Additionally, the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAATT) also paid tribute “with heavy hearts” to the late Lendore.
“Deon Lendore always represented TT with grace and pride. Last Tuesday, he stated his availability to represent TT at the 2022 World Indoor Championships. He was also recently appointed to serve on the athletes’ sub-committee.
“Condolences to his family, friends and the global athletics fraternity. Deon proudly represented Abilene Wildcats locally. Rest in eternal peace CHAMPION! Thanks for the unforgettable memories,” NAAATT posted to their Facebook page.