CARIBBEAN Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) president Brian Lewis expressed elation with Guadeloupe’s successful hosting of the inaugural Caribbean Games.
The five-day event concluded on Sunday and featured 29 countries represented by around 800 athletes and 200 officials in seven sporting disciplines.
There, TT captured 14 medals; five gold, five silver and four bronze.
Lewis, former TT Olympic Committee president, hailed the event as “historic” and affirmed it as a turning point for regional sports.
He credited the many organisations and associations involved, particularly the athletes, for making the first edition, one to remember.
“Staging the first-ever Caribbean Games was huge, transformative and a game-changer. I think we succeeded in providing inspiration and motivation to the youth and young people of Guadeloupe and the Caribbean. There’s no turning back now. Onward ever, backward never,” he said. Athletes competed in track and field, swimming, 3x3 basketball, cycling, futsal, judo and netball. The games were also broadcast on the Panam Sports channel and allowed those back at home to follow the action live.
Lewis confirmed there were some challenges to hosting the event but the determination and commitment shown by the host nation and other organising committees ensured a job well done.
“We got huge positive feedback from the people of Guadeloupe and the coverage from Panam Sports channel was important and very well done.
“To get to this point was no easy effort by any means and stretch of the imagination. There were many obstacles but I acknowledge the contribution of Guadeloupe, CANOC executive and the collaboration of its members.
“Their collective commitment to support the games was huge. It shows unity is our strength. Once we have unity of purpose, all things are possible,” he added.
Lewis also recognised International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, who sent messages of support, the North American, Central American and Caribbean Championships and Centro Caribe Sports among others.
He continued, “The CANOC would have gotten a huge boost in terms of their credibility and relevance. Their tremendous positive response by athletes throughout the five days was all captured by Panam Sports. History has been established against all odds and there is no turning back now.”