TTOC president, Brian Lewis, centre, NLCB board member Brian Sawh, left, and Instant Money Game supervisor Candi West view the 'Going for Gold' Scratch cards which will be available for purchase at NLCB outlets on Monday. Author: JONATHAN RAMNANANSINGH « ThumbsIn search of an increase in financial assistance towards the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee’s Athlete and Welfare Preparation Fund, president of the local Olympic fraternity, Brian Lewis, unveiled a landmark joint venture with the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) to aid the growth of this initiative.

At Olympic House on Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday, Lewis, NLCB chairman of marketing Brian Sawh and Instant Money Game supervisor, Candi West, disclosed their historic project which aims at generating approximately $1million per year towards the Athlete Fund and boosting the TTOC’s aim of achieving ten gold medals or more by 2024.

Together, the trio launched ‘Going for Gold’, a brand new NLCB sanctioned scratch game which will raise funds for Trinidad and Tobago’s potential Olympians. On Monday, 500,000 scratch tickets carrying the logo #10Golds24 will be on sale to the public for $10 at approximately 800 NLCB registered outlets nationwide. With a grand prize of $100,000, buyers of these tickets will be directly investing into the Athlete Preparation Fund. There are multiple other prizes customers can win in this scratch game and organisers have stated that chances are estimated at one-in-four. The first tranche of tickets is expected to run over a three-month period and will be renewed upon completion. This is a bold step in realising Lewis’ dream, having launched the #10Golds24 in December last year and then taking part in the Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon in January 2015.

On this historic drive, Lewis explained, “The importance of continuing and trying different initiatives is very important given the determination to create the environment that will allow our athletes to achieve their goals and objectives. We want to cultivate a system of excellence which clarifies the development pathway.”

The NLCB and TTOC anticipate that the ‘Going for Gold’ game, which was designed by GTECH, will be instrumental in raising public awareness and stimulating further national support of the athletes’ cause.

Camille Forde, director of the NLCB, was enthusiastic about the game’s potential to augment the impact of #10Golds24. “It is our hope that the interactive element of “Going for Gold” will stimulate renewed interest and care for Trinidad and Tobago’s athletes,” she said. “The NLCB is passionate about supporting the achievement of our talented young people, and “Going for Gold” can play a significant role in helping our game-buyers feel invested in our Olympic dream.”

“With this idea, we are getting the public more directly involved in paving the future of our Olympians,” added Lewis. “We have had the Fund open since last year and have not attained what we have projected for thus far. This is why we must adopt and implement new ideas with a positive mind-set.”


Rio 2016 today revealed its design for the Olympic Torch and the route for the Torch Relay, 399 days before the Opening Ceremony is due to take place.

The unique design of the Torch incorporates “Brazilian flair,” officials claimed.

It aims to reflect the unprecedented meeting between the legendary Olympic flame and the human warmth of the Brazilian people, they said.

The Torch’s texture has triangles running the length of its body, alluding to the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect, and the floating effect of its different segments refers to the efforts of the athletes.

One of its main innovations is the movement of these segments, which open up and expand vertically when the Olympic Flame is passed from one torchbearer to another.

Upon expanding, the segments reveal the elements that add the Brazilian flavour: diversity, contagious energy and exuberant nature, with the soil, the sea, the mountains, the sky and the sun represented in the colours of the Brazilian flag, which are also present in the visual identity of Rio 2016.

“The design of the Rio 2016 Torch was inspired by the Olympic spirit, our country’s nature, and the harmonious diversity and energy of our people," said Beth Lula, the Rio 2016 brand director.

"We used the specific stroke of the Rio 2016 brand to design the torch’s contours. Its horizontal segments, once open, reveal the sky, mountains, sea and the ground, represented by the promenade of Copacabana.”
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The design was the result of a nationwide competitive tender that 76 agencies responded to and that concluded with the meeting of a multidisciplinary judging panel, formed by 11 members recognised for their expertise in product design or their contribution to the Olympic Movement.

The panel unanimously selected the São Paulo-based design studio Chelles & Hayashi, established 21 years ago by Gustavo Chelles and Romy Hayashi.

After having been selected, the winning design was refined in collaboration with Rio 2016.

“The day is coming when we will have the honour of being the first country in South America to host the biggest sporting event on the planet," said Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

"In 399 days, people from across the world will look at us and see the Olympic flame lit in Rio.

"We are confident that we are going to meet, to the highest level, this great challenge that we have taken on.

"The Olympic torch is truly beautiful and fantastic.

"It will travel around Brazil and will be carried by the men and women of our people. It will stay in various municipalities and will cross the nation from north to south and east to west. It will be a great work of cooperation.”

The Torch Relay will begin with the traditional Flame Lighting Ceremony in Olympia, Greece, where the Ancient Olympic Games were born.

Then the torch will begin its tour of Brazil in May 2016.

Starting in the capital city of Brasilia and passing through an expected 500 cities and towns, with 300 of them due to host the Olympic Torch itself, the route was designed to reach as much of the Brazilian population as possible – an estimated 90 per cent of the public, it is claimed.

It will be carried by 12,000 people.

The torch will travel 20,000 kilometres by road and another 10,000 miles by air over the North and Midwest parts of the country, between the cities of Teresina and Campo Grande, without the Flame ever going out.

"We want to show the world the chemistry that we believe will be born when the Olympic Flame meets the warmth of the Brazilian people," said Carlos Nuzman, President of Rio 2016.

Each Torch – crafted from recycled aluminium and resin with a satin finish – will weigh between one kilogram and 1.5kg and stands 63.5 centimetres high when contracted and 69cm when expanded.

Lightweight materials and a design that induces a grip closer to the Torch’s centre of gravity have been employed to make the experience the best it can be.

The Torch Relay is due to end on August 5, when it will light the Olympic Cauldron at Maracana Stadium during the Opening Ceremony.
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The Relay will last between 90 and 100 days, allowing for technical breaks or special photo events.

“Rio de Janeiro is working very hard to host the Games, but these are all of Brazil’s Games and the whole population will take part," said Nuzman.

"The most important things is that each person who takes part in the torch relay can leave for their city a strong message of union.”

The Relay will be presented by International Olympic Committee TOP partner Coca-Cola and Rio 2016 sponsors Nissan and Bradesco.

A special website for the Torch Relay has been set-up and can be seen by clicking here.


Trinidad and Tobago’s 4x100 metres relay team have officially had their London 2012 bronze medal upgraded to silver following American sprinter Tyson Gay’s one-year ban for testing positive for anabolic steroids.

But team-member Richard Thompson claimed there are “flaws in the system” when it comes to doping in the sport.

The United States team had clinched the second place on the podium behind Jamaica but Gay’s ban meant all his results be annulled, including the 4x100 relay at the Olympic Games three years ago.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) stripped them of their silver medal seven weeks ago, leading to Trinidad and Tobago, whose quartet was made up of Thompson, Keston Bledman, Marc Burns and Emmanuel Callender, to be upgraded.

Despite originally finishing fifth, France have been reallocated the bronze.

The news comes after Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) President Brian Lewis criticised the IOC for its lack of urgency in the redistribution of medals stripped from athletes and teams for doping offences, claiming the process is “long and drawn out”.

“I would like the IOC to review the process and ensure its fair to the clean athletes,” he told insidethegames.

The development represents a second upgrade for the Trinidad and Tobago team, whose time of 38.12sec saw them narrowly miss out on a medal in the event but they were awarded bronze after Canada were disqualified for a lane violation.

“This is bitter-sweet,” Thompson told The Express in Port of Spain.

“We live for a moment and not necessarily a monetary award.

“We work hard to cross the line, hold up the national flag, stand on the podium and be happy in that moment we worked so hard for.

“We were deprived of that opportunity.

“If the system was 100 per cent efficient Gay would have gotten a two-year ban, and Justin Gatlin would not be running anymore.

“There are flaws in the system, and Gay should not have been rewarded for cooperating.

“He should do that anyway and Gatlin failed two tests, and should have been banned for life.”

Lewis said in a statement that they had “received official confirmation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the London 2012 men’s 4x100 sprint relay team will be reallocated the silver medal”.

Lewis also revealed that they have until July 18 to return their bronzes in order to receive their new silver medals.

"The TTOC will work with the athletes to ensure the IOC deadline is met," he added.

When asked about the process of the retrospective awarding last month, IOC communications director Mark Adams said that he thought no action would occur until the medals have been physically returned by the US athletes.

It is still not known whether the American team has given their medals back to the IOC.


The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee(TTOC ) has outlined the medal bonus structure for  the Pan Am Games in Toronto 2015 .

The announcement that for the first time in its history the TTOC will introduce a medal bonus was made when the 10 or more Olympic Gold medals by 2024 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund was launched.

The medal bonus on offer for Toronto 2015 .


Athletes in individual competition :$ 3000US for gold,$2000US for silver and $1000US for bronze. The relay events per team: $9000US for gold, $6000US for silver and 3000US for bronze.

In respect of team sports : $1500US gold,$1000US for silver and$ 750US for bronze per athlete.


The TTOC is determined to take the necessary steps and decisions in its effort to create the environment that will assist the athletes in striving to acheive medal winning objectives.

The introduction of medal bonuses is an essential component of 10 or more Olympic Gold medals athlete welfare and preparation programme.

In pursuit of its strategic goals and objectives the TTOC acknowledges the support of its corporate partners : bpTT, Guardian Group,Scotiabank, adidas, Lisa Communications  and NLCB.

"Its an exciting time for the TTOC.  One year to Rio 2016 is just around the corner. Pan Am Toronto will get underway this week. Lots of challenges but its exciting ."

It's official! The 2012 Olympic Games men's 4x100 metres silver medal goes to Trinidad and Tobago.

"This is bitter-sweet," anchorman Richard "Torpedo" Thompson told the Express, yesterday. "We live for a moment and not necessarily a monetary award. We work hard to cross the line, hold up the national flag, stand on the podium and be happy in that moment we worked so hard for. We were deprived of that opportunity."

Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender and Thompson have been upgraded from bronze to silver because of American Tyson Gay's doping infraction.

Gay was handed a one-year ban after testing positive for an anabolic steroid in 2013. His results, starting from July 15, 2012, were annulled. Gay was part of the United States team that finished second to Jamaica in the Olympic 4x100m final on August 11.

Seven weeks ago, the IOC stripped the Americans of the silver medal, clearing the way for the T&T upgrade.

"If the system was 100 per cent efficient," said Thompson, "Gay would have gotten a two-year ban, and Justin Gatlin would not be running anymore. There are flaws in the system, and Gay should not have been rewarded for cooperating. He should do that anyway. Gatlin failed two tests, and should have been banned for life."

The upgrade to Olympic silver is T&T's second. Thompson was the fourth sprinter past the finish line in the 2012 Olympic final. However, third-placed Canada were disqualified for a lane violation, and bronze was awarded to the T&T quartet in 38.12 seconds.

At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, the same T&T sprint relay quartet earned silver.

"Crossing the line second in Beijing was far more significant than the weird series of events that played out in London. It's not necessarily the way you want to win a medal, but we're thankful. Hopefully, next time we'll win gold on the track. That's what we're shooting for at the Rio Games next year."

In a press release, yesterday, Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president, Brian Lewis said his organisation "received official confirmation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the London 2012 men's 4x100 sprint relay team will be reallocated the silver medal.

"The TTOC," the release continued, "is required to return the bronze medals, diplomas and pins by 18th July 2015. The TTOC will work with the athletes to ensure the IOC deadline is met."

France originally finished fifth in the final, but can now boast of bronze.

T&T's London 2012 medal haul has improved to one gold, one silver and two bronze medals—the country's best ever Olympic showing. And "Torpedo" Thompson is now a triple Olympic silver medallist.

"That rolls off the tongue a little better. It's something I'm proud of. I've worked hard for moments like that, and making four Olympic finals is big for me as well. But I want more. When I stepped onto the world stage in 2008, Ato Boldon was the benchmark for me. He has four individual Olympic medals. I want to emulate some of what Ato achieved individually."

Thompson has been struggling with a knee injury this season, and has called off his 2015 campaign. Last Saturday, he reached the NGC-Sagicor National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) Open Track and Field Championship men's 100m final, but opted out of the championship race.

"Calling off 2015 and missing Worlds was a hard decision. Coming into Senior Champs, I was doing everything possible to try to get back to 100 per cent, but I had no work on the track for close to two months. No excuses, but my fitness was not there.

"These things happen in sport, and sometimes setbacks are blessings in disguise. I had to take a smart and mature decision pushing towards Rio 2016. I didn't want to jeopardise my ability to make a significant contribution to the country at the Olympics."


ESPN Caribbean begins its region wide coverage of the 2015 Pan American Games on July 10 at 7:30 pm ET with live coverage of the Opening Ceremony.

The event runs July 10 to 26 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Approximately 7,000 athletes from 41 countries will take part in 36 different sports competitions.

ESPN Caribbean’s agreement, in alliance with the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC), includes English-language rights throughout the islands and on cruise ships sailing in the region.

“Our coverage of the Pan Am Games is an integral part of ESPN’s lead-up programming to Rio 2016,” said Tim Bunnell, senior vice-president of production, programming, marketing and ad sales.

“We know how important this event is to Caribbean fans and we will deliver a world-class production for our viewers. CANOC and ESPN will continue to bring locally relevant and prestigious sports content to the Caribbean region.”

“CANOC is proud of our continued association with ESPN and our role in the multi-platform distribution of the 2015 Pan AM Games in Toronto,” said Bernard Stewart, director and head of CANOC Broadcasting (CBI).

“Our combined effort to deliver to sports fans globally recognised events like the Pan Am games demonstrates our commitment to deliver unprecedented coverage of the journey of Caribbean athletes to showcase their talent in the Rio 2016 Olympics.”

ESPN will provide Caribbean fans with over 65 hours of event coverage on the ESPN Caribbean television network, along with more than 600 hours of live content streamed on ESPN Play, ESPN’s broadband platform. ESPN Play will also be complimentary to pay television subscribers from July 18 to 21.

ESPN’s live, English-language coverage of the Opening Ceremony is the first by a broadcaster in 30 years.

ESPN’s studio will be set in the heart of Toronto with the city’s emblematic skyscrapers as background. Coverage of the 17-day event will focus on track and field, diving, gymnastics, volleyball, women’s and men’s basketball, swimming, boxing and soccer.

Other exclusive ESPN Caribbean coverage includes updates with Shaka Hislop and Alexis Nunes and live, on-location event-related happenings with field reporter Toni Collins.

ESPN Caribbean’s social media channels will supplement the multimedia coverage, engaging fans with the latest news around the Games using the hashtag #PanAmXESPN.