TRINIDAD AND Tobago cyclist Nicholas Paul said his Olympic debut at 2020 Tokyo Games was a learning experience and he is already looking ahead to the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Paul, 22, finished sixth in the men’s sprint and made it to the semifinals of the men’s keirin event. He was not allowed to compete in the 7-12 final for placings after being disqualified in the semifinals.
Reflecting on his Olympic experience, Paul said on social media, “My first Olympic Games has come to an end and it has been a great experience. I have learnt a lot, leaving me feeling thankful.”
Paul thanked everyone for their support.
“Firstly I must give all thanks to God for his guidance and protection, big thanks to my family and friends, big thanks to my coach @craig_maclean_coaching, @wcc_cycling and @tjzn21, big thanks to all my support staff, to my teammates @kwesi_b @jairtef @jean.spies @tjjai @miriamvece, to all my supporters in Trinidad and Tobago and around the world for all the continued love and support! Greatly appreciated. It’s now time to move on as the dawn of a new journey begins…Paris 2024 here we come.”
Fellow cyclists Kwesi Browne and Teniel Campbell also represented TT at the Olympics. Browne competed in both the sprint and keirin events and Campbell lined up in the women’s road race. Browne ended ninth in the keirin.
Former TT Olympic cyclist Gene Samuel is elated with the effort of the cyclists who all made their Olympic debuts.
Samuel took part in four Olympic Games – 1984 (Los Angeles, United States), 1988 (Seoul, South Korea), 1992 (Barcelona, Spain) and 1996 (Atlanta, US).
Samuel finished fourth in the 1K time trial in Los Angeles.
“They were commendable performances, a lot of people just look at medals," said Samuel. "I think they did a great job and I would like to put (that) out there because there is too much negativity. I would like to put out there that just to make it to the Olympics is an achievement.
“Top ten in the Olympics let me tell you something that is a hell of a feat. When we think about big countries out there investing millions and millions and we don’t invest that…let’s support our athletes.”
Discussing Campbell’s appearance at the Olympics, Samuel said she created history by becoming the first female cyclist to fly the TT flag at the Olympics.
Samuel said Browne, Paul and Campbell all have discipline and dedication.
The four-time Olympian also praised the work of TT Cycling Federation president Rowena Williams.