The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) yesterday recognised the 40th anniversary of Hasely Crawford’s capture of the country’s first Olympic gold medal and offered congratulations to the Montreal 1976 100 metres winner.
Crawford won gold exactly 40 years ago today, and the landmark was yesterday celebrated at a function hosted by the National Gas Company (NGC).
In a release yesterday, the TTOC said it viewed the anniversary as “a significant honour to Mr. Crawford and his patriotism, passion and pride in lifting the Trinidad and Tobago colours to the heights of sporting excellence.”
The TTOC also acknowledged Crawford’s support for its stated goal of achieving 10 or more Olympic gold medals for Trinidad and Tobago by the year 2024.
The release continued: “TTOC on behalf of TEAM TTO, (the 32 athletes heading to Rio) thanks Mr. Crawford for his years of support to the values of Olympism and his interest and belief in the progress and potential of our athletes...You continue to inspire today as you did 40 years ago when time stood still as all of Trinidad and Tobago celebrated your historic feat.”
Current president of the National Association of Athletic Administrations Ephraim Serrette also reflected on what Crawford’s achievement in 1976 meant to him.
He told the Sunday Express recently: “It was one of our major achievements, a country with the population of Trinidad and Tobago having somebody win the 100 metres, that was very significant. It also opened doors for others to follow. That was a kind of stepping stone for athletes of T&T.
“We would have had people outside already, but if it was one door, two doors were open now. I would’ve benefited from that because him having won that event in ‘76, and as a junior athlete in ‘77 competing with the seniors and defeated him, that opened doors for me as well...I was afforded a student scholarship, and that had to do with him winning the Olympic 100 metres in ‘76. The amount of schools that offered me scholarships was also because of that. If it weren’t for that, I don’t know where Ephraim Serrette would’ve been today.”