Canuck gymnast for Rio rattles T&T


Exclusive to The Caribbean Camera

Marisa Dick is Canadian born but will compete for Trinidad. Gerard Richardson photo.
Marisa Dick is Canadian born but will compete for Trinidad. Gerard Richardson photo.

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago – Citizens here are in an uproar after Thema Williams was pulled from Rio Olympics gymnastic tryouts in February over long-time rival Marisa Dick.

The controversy lies in the fact that Dick was born in Canada of Trinidadian parents and Williams was born and raised in Trinidad.

Brian Lewis, T&T Olympic committee head, defends the choice. Gerard Richardson photo.
Brian Lewis, T&T Olympic committee head, defends the choice. Gerard Richardson photo.

The outcry has flooded every social media outlet and is a favourite topic on radio. Trinis are asking, if Dick was not born in Trinidad why should she compete for the country? Many have called in to talk shows with questions of how this happened. Not everyone has positive words for Dick.

This situation of athletes with parental heritage of a country being allowed to compete in the country of their parents’ birth is not new. In Europe, many athletes born in North America compete in their European parents’ homeland.

On Monday, at a press conference at the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) Olympic House, TTOC President Brian Lewis said he and his team spent the weekend going over the rules and regulations and working with legal representation to make the arduous decision of recognizing one athlete over another to compete for Trinidad.

There they made the announcement that Dick would be represent T&T in gymnastics.

Lewis said, “This is an unprecedented situation. We have to keep to a tight script to make sure there are no legal ramifications.”

However, this may not be the end of the controversy. Stay tuned to the continuing Road to Rio 2016.

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