The 2016 Rio Olympics has been plagued by complaints, more complaints and then even much more from the people of Brazil, to the international media, to the athletes in the village and there is one common ground that things could have been better and probably should have been.
Having been alerted to the problems for Team T&T by a firm and honest post from the very dedicated and disciplined Jarrin Solomon on some initial water woes, the Trinidad Guardian sought and obtained the views of our athletes on the T&T contingent.
Five-time “Sportswoman of the Year,” experienced Olympian shot putter Cleopatra Borel, who will start the action in track and field on Friday for T&T said, “I just arrived in the village and so far it’s been good for me. I always make the best, thank God and focus on what is important. I have some hard practice sessions ahead.”
Emmanuel Callender, a silver medallist from the London Olympics in the 4x100 metres relay, who could be seen enjoying himself to the maximum at the opening ceremony, was pumped up and ready.
“I am settled and ready for battle and I believe the team is as well. There are a few things to be worked out but it is being dealt with for the team. They are focused on the task ahead,” said Callender, known as the “E-man” to everyone in Rio.
Andrew Lewis, who to many already deserves a medal for just being at these Games after his horrific injury in 2015, is buoyant.
“Everyone has settled in really nicely. Everyone is very happy with their roommates. We have a great medical staff in the village here with us, everyone is content with what they have been given, and we are all happy to be with each other from what I can see and what my fellow athletes have told me,” said Lewis.
“We are on the 18th and 17th floor. The 18th floor is the highest floor in our building with a really nice view of the entire Olympic Park so we are very happy to be so high up. Also it helps us stay away from mosquitoes because there is a very good breeze up there. All in all we have gotten a very special spot in the Olympic village. ”
Three-time Olympic medallist Richard Thompson said, “The majority of the team got into Rio on August 4 from the camp in Sao Paulo. I must say that the camp was a major success in many ways and the TTOC did a great job in making us comfortable and ensuring that all of our preparatory needs were met.
“On arrival at the village, unfortunately I can’t say the same for Rio’s welcome to us. Of my three Olympic Games, this is easily the most disorganised. There are a number of issues with the accommodations. No water in some rooms, no light in some bathrooms, AC (air condition) not working. The security check points structure to enter the stadium is very inefficient, among other issues that I can pick at. But we are all here and ready to compete to the best of our ability and will not allow the obstacles in our way to stop us. We are ready to represent Team T&T.”