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18
Sun, Aug

Team TTO in Rio 2016
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Ten gold medals by 2024.

The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee’s long term goal to increase our gold medal haul will begin to unfold from tonight when the 2016 Olympic Games officially open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

With its largest contingent of athletes ever and entry into some new areas such as gymnastics, judo and rowing, it seems T&T is well poised to make that goal a reality.

The “Ten Gold by 2024” slogan has been the marketing the brainchild of TTOC President Brian Lewis who has placed marketing to the forefront of the organisation’s activities.

“I’ve always said it, I always had a leaning more towards the marketing and branding orientation and I always felt the next phase for the Olympic Committee would be the marketing era,” he told Loop.

Part of the marketing and fundraising has been the TTOC’s merchandise programme, which includes T’shirts and wristbands available at the Fan Club stores.

The campaign has also seen two musical releases from TTOC cultural ambassadors Erphaan Alves and Sekon Sta.

“It is building out the TTOC’s approach in a different way, making it more market driven,” he said.

Looking ahead to the Rio games, Lewis said he has seen encouraging signs from the athletes in the run up the Games.

If we perform to our full potential and all things being equal that potential has the capacity to win medals,” he said.

Regarding the threat of Zika, Lewis said the Athletes Services Division has been sending out information to the athletes regarding the disease. He said, though, while Zika is a concern, the two areas he is more concerned about are the doping and the security issue in Brazil.

Asked about the state of accommodation in the athlete’s village as reports are emerging that the facilities are subpar, Lewis said the teams are guided by two elements.

“There are two elements our athletes are guided by. One is the agreement that you sign, videos etc. from the games village must be authorised. While they can share first-person diary things, any comment or video that can have adverse comments requires authorisation, you can find yourself in some hot water,” he explained.

“In the context of us dealing with issues we have a Chef de Mission, we are very aware of the issues Brazil would have faced so we would have anticipated them,” he added.

The Olympic team moved into their quarters in the Olympic Village on Thursday.

When the games kick off tonight, Javelin's reigning gold medal holder Keshorn Walcott will lead the T&T contingent with the national flag.

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