OLYMPIC-bound sailor Andrew Lewis said on Thursday that every bit of success he achieves at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan this year will be dedicated to his homeland, Trinidad and Tobago.
The 31-year-old Lewis was speaking at a special send-off, at the TT Yachting Association compound in Chaguaramas.
Lewis will leave for his training base at the Canary Islands on Saturday, before he heads off to acclimatise in Tokyo before the rescheduled Games, which is expected to take place from July 23 to August 8.
“Trinidad and Tobago is small but mighty,” said Lewis, who will be competing in his third Olympics. “The sport of sailing is small but, thanks to the vision that I shared with my father (David) and he shared with me, one day you’ll see a lot of white sails on the Foreshore. Thanks to the Mayor (of Port of Spain Joel Martinez) for that.”
According to Lewis, “I do receive taxpayers’ money to do what I do, I do receive corporate TT (funds) to do what I do. But I want to help as many people as I can.”
With regards to the Olympics, Lewis said, “When I return with silverware, hopefully, my role is to, pretty much, hand over any success I (achieve). It’s not for me. You cannot take any medal to the grave. It’s for this country. I do what I do because I’ve been gifted with life.”
Lewis, who revealed that his first-born child is due on July 4, also shared a message to the nation.
“Let the pandemic teach us an important lesson, the healthy one would become the wealthy one. I don’t mean money, I mean purpose. TT is my home and I would represent it to the best of my ability.”
He said, “I’ll be leaving Saturday morning to my training base in the Canary Islands. I’ll be spending there approximately two months. The goal is to race there, train there. It’s a very safe environment to be. And, as soon as possible, I’m going to get to Tokyo.”
President of the TT Olympic Committee, Brian Lewis, said, “Andrew represents what Team TTOC stands for, an indomitable will, a resilience and a deep commitment to represent this place called TT.”
The TTOC president, in a no-nonsense mood, continued, “I make no apologies for saying this. It is not easy representing this country in sport. Our athletes, regardless of creed, race, ethnicity, class, socio-economic background, have it very difficult.”
Lewis added, “Many people don’t really appreciate what covid19 has done for our athletes, economically, physically, emotionally and mentally. Their commitment, in the face of covid, to deal with the uncertainty and unpredictability of an unprecedented public health crisis should be held up to this country as a role model. At this point, just qualifying for Tokyo 2020 is an achievement.”
The TTOC boss pointed out, “Andrew is going off (to the Canary Islands). Thanks to his family, his well-wishers and his corporate partners. But others aren’t so fortunate and they are still struggling against the tide, with less than four months to go.”
Also speaking at the event were Mayor Martinez, Sports Company of TT chairman Douglas Camacho, Sports Ministry’s director of physical education and sport Gabre McTair as well as sponsors’ representatives Camille Salandy (Atlantic), Karen Tom Yew-Jardine (Republic Bank), Sarita Persad (Tatil), Guillermo Rojo (Trinidad Cement Limited).