For the past year, Andrew Lewis has been in preparation for the 2011 Pan American Games and ultimately his dream of participating in a Summer Olympics—London 2012. Lewis, recently coming off a 32nd place finished at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta, an Olympic Test Event, reiterated his intention to take full advantage of his dream to participate at next year’s Olympic Games saying, “I will not be going for silver, and I will not be going for bronze but I will be going for gold.” He made this clear at a press conference held at the T&T Olympic Committee Headquarters in Port of Spain, yesterday. As such, Lewis, coach Fernando “Happy” Alegre (who has been with Lewis for 10 years), financial manager Kairon Serrette and marketing and public relations manager Chantal Ross, a former national swimmer, have set out to make the goal plausible despite the odds being against an emerging athlete in the sport from a country as small as T&T.
Lewis has progressively advanced in his sitting in the world rankings among sailors in the laser category from 340th in December, 2010 to 160th in April and then to his highest ranking of 110th as of July 27 with a total of 1964 points. The points allocations which are required for the advancement in the world rankings has been on the front burner for Lewis. He has taken part in many international regattas including that of the Open Europeans 2011 event held in Helsinki, Finland where he sailed to an impressive 43rd out of 124 entrants participating in the gold fleet and winning an individual race in the process.
Despite his extensive achievements within the recent past and his assistance with financing and public relations from the T&TOC and the University of T&T, Lewis still requires further financial assistance, and thus corporate sponsors are being encouraged to get on board with his journey to the Pan American Games and the Olympics. Coach Alegre is convinced that given the development of the 21-year-old athlete, who features in the laser category together with athletes mostly six and more years his senior and places amongst them; he stands a realistic chance of major development within the coming years.
With similar words, Ken Butcher—executive manager at UTT insisted that with corporate and public assistance, Lewis will only be further encouraged and continue to improve on his journey to become a T&T olympic gold medallist.