Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) will celebrate Olympic Day today on a complete virtual platform, as the countdown to the opening ceremony of the Tokyo2020 Games reaches 30 days. It is the second consecutive year that the TTOC event will take advantage of an online and social media presence due to the COVID-19 pandemic that emerged in March 2020.
This year, though, the events moved strictly on-line because of tightened health and safety guidelines and protocols in the country enacted to combat a surge in coronavirus cases and deaths back in April. "Unlike last year when we could have had a limited activity at the Olympic House subject to Covid-19 restrictions, this year because of a state of emergency and heightened restrictions and regulations, the office is entirely closed," said TTOC president Brian Lewis. Lewis said that the fact that Olympic Day coincides with the 30-day countdown to the July 23-August 8 Tokyo Games gives the annual event added significance.
The president of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) added that the pandemic had provided a stern test to the global community and sport, of which the TTOC and this country are a part. "It is a test of character, a test of mental, emotional and psychological stamina and endurance. It is a test of the organisational capacity of the TTOC. It is a test of the TTOC's ability to be flexible and to react to changing and unpredictable and uncertain circumstances," Lewis reasoned.
Lewis also said it is an examination of our athletes' determination and courage which makes for a very interesting Olympic Day 2021. Lewis said the TTOC will continue to encourage people about the value of fitness, healthy lifestyle choices, proper nutrition and strong immune system, the first line of defence against the COVID-19 disease. Lewis stressed it was important to maintain an indomitable spirit and determined not to allow the pandemic to overcome the human spirit.
"We must eb determined that we will win the war against COVID-19 and that sport and the Olympic movement have a very important contribution to make to help the world and to give a sense of hope to the youth and young people of Trinidad and Tobago."
The virtual Olympic Day will be celebrated on the Zoom platform and will feature addresses from the IOC president Thomas Bach, the Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe, Lewis, and TTOC secretary general Annette Knott. There will also be stay active and exercise activities on the Team TTO Instagram and Facebook pages with opportunities to win TeamTTO gear.