Home / Rio 2016 / TTOC vote for Dick! Marisa will create history for T&T gymnastics at Rio Olympics

TTOC vote for Dick! Marisa will create history for T&T gymnastics at Rio Olympics

The Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation (TTGF) will achieve a personal milestone at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, as—for the first time in its history—the local board will send a gymnast to the world’s most illustrious sporting event.

But, according to how you review the circumstances, it will not be the one who deserved to go.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnasts Thema Williams (right) and Marisa Dick pose for a photograph while sightseeing in Rio, after the Olympic Test event on 17 April 2016. (Courtesy Hannifer Dick)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnasts Thema Williams (right) and Marisa Dick pose for a photograph while sightseeing in Rio, after the Olympic Test event on 17 April 2016.
(Courtesy Hannifer Dick)

Twenty year old Thema Williams, a former St Joseph’s Convent (Port of Spain) student, earned a chance at the Rio spot on 23 October 2015 in the Glasgow World Championships.

But in the end, it was her alternate, 18 year old old Marisa Dick, who competed at the crucial Rio Test event on April 17, which confirmed Trinidad and Tobago’s place at the Olympics.

And despite the controversy over the manner of Williams’ deselection—on the eve of the Test event—the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) ruled today, in a press conference at the Olympic House in Port of Spain, that Dick will go.

TTOC president Brian Lewis said the “game changer” was the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) release on 29 April which “confirmed that the name change from Thema Williams to Marisa Dick was duly made by the TTGF in accord with the declaration by the FIG.”

The FIG’s position, according to the TTOC, suggested that the international body had cleared the procedure used by the TTGF in removing Williams. This release—and Lewis referred to the FIG’s timing as “curious”—was seen as an invitation to legal action against the TTOC, should it rule against Dick.

Photo: FIG secretary general André Gueisbuhler.
Photo: FIG secretary general André Gueisbuhler.

Yet, even as Lewis endorsed Dick, he suggested that the TTGF could be disciplined under Clause 13 of its constitution—which is entitled “Measures and Sanctions”—and lamented the position that the TTOC found itself in. It is the first time that the TTOC has ever invoked that clause.

“It is a dark cloud over the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic movement,” said Lewis. “Public confidence in the governance of sport has been shaken… We deplore the situation that the ttoc has found itself in.”

Yet, Lewis confirmed that the procedure taken in Williams’ withdrawal was a consideration in the local Olympic body decision—but opted to select Dick anyway.

Possible disciplinary action notwithstanding, the TTOC’s choice, arguably, might be seen as vindication for  TTGF president David Marquez’s decision to send Dick to Rio de Janeiro on the night of Friday April 15 while Williams and her coach, John Geddert, were asleep in their respective rooms.

“I said to myself before bed, one more day to clean up and fix my routine and prepare myself for competition on (April) 17th,” said Williams, at a press conference last Wednesday. “But when I woke up on the 16th, I received a call from my mother stating I was no longer the representative…

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams (right) and her coach John Geddert.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams (right) and her coach John Geddert.

“I just wanted to go to the Olympics since I was at least eight years old. To know that that dream was being taken away from me, without even my knowledge. There was no consultation that took place…

“I went to (coach John Geddert’s room) immediately and said, did you hear the news? I had tears in my eyes.”

Ostensibly, the decision hinged on a training report submitted by Geddert on Friday evening, which claimed that Williams was bothered by a sore ankle and was having problems with her landings.

The report did not recommend that Williams should be pulled from the Test event. And, as has been oft repeated ever since, the TTGF’s athlete agreement stated that the former Tots and Tumblers could only be withdrawn by the “head of delegation in consultation with my coach and relevant medical personnel.”

The TTGF initially suggested that its head of delegation was massage therapist Nicole Fuentes, who did not support the decision to withdraw Williams. However, the local body subsequently claimed that Marquez, who was in Trinidad, was actually the head of delegation—and Fuentes herself said she was not the HOD.

Regardless, the gymnastics federation, which also included one of Dick’s coaches Ricardo Lue Shue, did not have a medical report or get the okay from Williams’ coach.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation officials (from right) Ricardo Lue Shue, Elicia Peters-Charles and David Marquez pose with Sport Minister Darryl Smith (second from right). (Courtesy Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation officials (from right) Ricardo Lue Shue, Elicia Peters-Charles and David Marquez pose with Sport Minister Darryl Smith (second from right).
(Courtesy Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs)

The TTGF did have attorney Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj SC though, who was hired immediately after the Test event.

And on Saturday afternoon, when Marquez and TTGF general secretary Elicia Peters-Charles met the TTOC contingent of Lewis, Annette Knott, Ian Hypolite, Diane Henderson and Dr Terrence Ali at the Olympic House, a new narrative had emerged.

A gymnastics insider pointed to the entire clause in Williams’ contract, which read: “I will participate for the full duration of the event unless I am excused by the head of delegation in consultation with my coach and relevant medical personnel.”

Marquez, the TTGF argued, was not bound by that stipulation. The clause was only the criteria for if Williams wished to withdraw on her own.

So what was the TTGF bound to then? Wasn’t the pre-World Championship contract—which stipulated that the top performing T&T gymnast in Glasgow, Williams, would participate at the Rio Test event—worth something?

Photo: Thema Williams of Trinidad And Tobago competes on the uneven bars during the 2015 World Gymnastics Championship in Glasgow, Scotland, on 23 October 2015. (Copyright AFP 2016/Andy Buchanan)
Photo: Thema Williams of Trinidad And Tobago competes on the uneven bars during the 2015 World Gymnastics Championship in Glasgow, Scotland, on 23 October 2015.
(Copyright AFP 2016/Andy Buchanan)

“In law, it is referred to as the man on the Clapham omnibus,” said the gymnastics source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “(The contract) is silent on when the Federation can pull an athlete because it can do so at will. But it must show reason which can be worked out from any man on the street.”

And that “reason”, according to the TTGF, was Geddert’s email.

“Podium was a disaster with 6 falls on 3 events,” stated Geddert, on April 15. “She has been dealing with a sore ankle to the point that I asked her to withdraw last week.

“She assured me she can do this. We have been limiting all pounding and landings yet today she showed little signs of being able to perform well. We will rest tomorrow and rely on heart.”

Presumably, Marquez and Peters-Charles used the ‘man on the Clapham omnibus’ defence to Lewis, Knott, Hypolite, Henderson and Ali: What would you have done? Left Williams to rely on heart? Or pulled her in the middle of the night without a word to the coach or athlete?

The TTOC appeared to have been leaning in Marquez’s direction anyway. By the time the TTGF and TTOC representatives met, Williams’ chances of getting her spot back had virtually evaporated.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick (centre) was accompanied by five police officers at the Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation (TTGF) press conference on 20 April 2016 at the Chamber of Commerce in Westmoorings. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick (centre) was accompanied by five police officers at the Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation (TTGF) press conference on 20 April 2016 at the Chamber of Commerce in Westmoorings.
(Courtesy Wired868)

On Friday April 29, the FIG gave its position, which was Dick’s name was the only one that would be accepted from Trinidad and Tobago.

“Since the qualification place earned by Marisa Dick is nominative,” stated FIG secretary general André Gueisbuhler, “no name change or replacement is possible.”

It was not an unexpected response as Williams’ attorneys, Keith Scotland and Dr Emir Crowne, were banking primarily on the IOC’s Tripartite Commission and, as a matter of last resort, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

But, on the afternoon of Friday April 29, the TTOC delivered a more damaging blow to Williams’ hopes.

“The FIG has confirmed today that no name change or replacement is possible at this stage,” stated Lewis, “any approach to the Tripartite Commission can only be made through the auspices of the TTOC with the endorsement of the Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation.”

As it turned out, the TTOC did not qualify for assistance from the Tripartite Commission in any case. But Lewis’ message that the TTGF would need to sanction any possible appeal was a crushing psychological blow to “Team Thema.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis (left) with a delegate at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. (Courtesy TTOC)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis (left) with a delegate at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.
(Courtesy TTOC)

On Sunday, in an interview with 107 FM, Lewis gave another hint of where the TTOC was blowing as he noted that the local Olympic committee was mindful “not to throw out the baby with the bath water.”

This morning, Lewis confirmed that the TTOC would not stand in Dick’s way.

For many newly converted gymnastics fans—who read emails from Dick’s mother, Hannifer Dick, that lobbied for the Canada-born athlete to replace Williams, after she was beaten fair and square—the decision might grate.

“I wanted to let you know that Marisa is now aware that she was not chosen to go to the test event in Rio,” stated Hannifer, on 9 November 2015. “It was posted onto the TTOC website which Thema has shared. Marisa is heart broken because nowhere there does it mention that she has represented Trinidad and Tobago for the last four years and has done so with the utmost respect for everyone involved.

“I have tried to tell her that there is hope but at this point she does not feel like anyone is fighting for her…

“It is a hard thing to see your child cry when she knows how hard she has worked to accomplish all that she has and to have it be so unfair to her.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick (right) and her mother Hannifer Dick (centre) look on at a local gymnastics meet at the Tacarigua Indoor Sporting Facility on 23 April 2016. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick (right) and her mother Hannifer Dick look on at a local gymnastics meet at the Tacarigua Indoor Sporting Facility on 23 April 2016.
(Courtesy Wired868)

Williams was annoyed too by Dick’s insistence on repeating at interviews that the former gymnast was injured.

“She is not a doctor,” said Williams. “The medics said ‘you are fine’ (so) I don’t feel she is at liberty to make those statements… I am baffled that she would say that…

“What (the TTGF) did was blatantly unjust and if you’re not against it, you’re for it. I believe that says a lot about character.”

Dick’s suggestion, during a CBC interview in Canada on 13 January 2016, that it was “cut throat time”—two months after Williams was confirmed as Trinidad and Tobago’s sole representative for Rio—may cast a shadow over her for some time yet.

But the gifted gymnast, who was the TTGF’s 2015 female gymnast of the year, executed when it mattered, as she sealed a historic Olympic place for her adopted country on April 17.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnasts Marisa Dick (right) wave to the crowd during the Opening Ceremony of the Toronto 2015 Pan-American Games at Rogers Stadium, Toronto on July 2015. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnasts Marisa Dick (right) wave to the crowd during the Opening Ceremony of the Toronto 2015 Pan-American Games at Rogers Stadium, Toronto on July 2015.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

And the TTOC decided that it did not have sufficient grounds to stop her from representing “Red, Black and White” in Rio.

It is a memorable day in local gymnastics. Even though many may not feel like celebrating.


Editor’s Note: Click HERE to read the TTOC’s full statement at its mid-morning press conference.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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  1. Another comment:

    That’s one point of view. Here’s another :
    Hope Ann Marie Lynch forgives me but let me put this here for you.
    This comment is from someone who was actually ther in Canada when Dick’s mum announced her daughter’s conquest… It is rather telling…. ummm our coaches were in McMurray at the time that Anita announced MD has left and on her way to Brazil 10:05 pm. She announced it to 100 + coaches at the coaches social, yes sireee !! BUT then changed it to MD leaving at 11 pm, to the dismay of our Edmonton Gymnastics Community whoops !! then Hannifer produced the receipt gas and coffee 11:53pm at Wandering River (200km) from McMurray , lie #1 , you cannot travel 204km in less than an hour, that means their vehicle was going 200 km (IMPOSSIBLE) so this is where credibility starts to ?. Then MD on 2 separate interviews stated she never tried out for Elite Canada (Team Canada) she did 2010, 2011 and 2012, these little lies were caught by the T & T people and fueled the fire, its really too bad it it only got worse from there. Gymnasitcs Canada confirmed MD competed in Elite Canada, Alberta transportation and Wood Buffalo RCMP have confirmed with out a doubt you cant travel from McMurray to Wandering River in less that an hour. I guess the guy from WIRED was giving them the benefit of the doubt until they repeatedly lied to him….oh my. I could go on and on , We here, knew TTGF never liked Thema, in fact Team MD was told that in the very first meetings 4 years ago after the unsuccesful Elite Canada Meet, we all knew it but we didnt care, we were happy for Marisa, oh she had (s) alot of support here, even when she went to test event we were so excited……and then well the MESS …..sad for Thema for sure , we went from supporting Marisa to huge disappointment as the facts keep coming out, we just didn’t realize how many decisions were made for the benifit of MD to the detriment of TW. The whole TTGF athlete contract was changed to one Meet (Worlds) highest place finisher was to benefit MD, after the 2014 Pan American Qualifers they changed the contract wording , MD placed higher than TW , but then she had that devastating Achilles Injury , Thema was healthy but they wanted MD as she had qualified higher, TTGF did not want to change it , even though there was ? from team Thema about Marisa competing 8 mos after injury “on an untested Achilles ” according to MD. So going forward TTGF for Worlds made it clear in contract , highest place finisher goes to test event. Fast forward April 2016 anonymous TTGF board member leaks email from Oct 2015 before Worlds , from VP LueShue to Pres Ricardo, talking about how worlds will be Themas last event……that at worlds it “maybe perceived that MD has an advantage by having 2 coaches (Ovideu and Anita) there….and Thema has one…..can we add Fran(TTGF member) …at no cost ?…..we are not paying for another coach for Thema. I know the Wired guy, has done his due diligence as he has contacted the very gymnastics community here in Edmonton , because we KNOW the back story…..but no other news reporter, blogger ect….has thought to do the same ? i find that curious, so i gladly speak up because there is more to the story………P.S. i dont have a girl in gym…i dont have ill will to MD or TW , but what i have is the facts as i was privy to conversations ect…..that were started 4 years ago. I have watched and cheered on MD for 6 years, but sadly cannot cheer on as an Olympian, even though i do believe shes been a pawn of the TTGF , i just wish she and her mom hadn’t lied. Sad sad time for T&T gymnastics.

  2. Take off meh damn red … imposter

  3. Sorry i dont feel any passion for this

  4. When you thought it could not of gotten any worse than Life Sport, they pull this off. My country in a total mess, I must say, people all in the US and other countries watching this and know it wrong and why these people are allowed to make this kind of racket of a decision….Just the same as Fraud…

  5. Listening to a talk show programme this morning prompted me to comment. Most persons hearing the facts would have supported the “NoOneAtAll” position regardless of the ethnicities involved. I don’t buy the argument that the pubic outrage is anything other than a sound declaration that “wrong” is just “wrong” and must never be rewarded.

  6. This issue is so upsetting.. Thema keep strong dear..they can’t hold you back forever


  8. 20 what by 20/20? Not my money!!!

  9. So much controversy. From reading, both girls worked hard for this place. Let us now allow Marisa to do her best in giving tt gold. As she is Canadian, we don’t have to give her land and house. Her mother could do this. She gives us gold, we give her support and cheers and we quit huh. Let’s don’t continue to dampen the spirit. The a can now take care of her ankle and continue to take part in the other things as well as the modeling. She has a good figure for this.

  10. She will definitely create history as the most unsupported athlete to come out of Trinidad and Tobago

  11. People of our soil should be representing us, not some foreign flim-flam merchant who was born and raised abroad. Having a Trinidadian parent doesn’t make you a Trini. You have to be born here.

    I mean, what next? A white man from England representing us at football in a major tournament?

    Jesus take the wheel.

  12. sayin yes to dick is always easy

  13. So sad! Some of us really feel that the end justifies the means.

  14. Really unfortunate..No one should have gone..then.

  15. Dick and Dora went up a hill, and Jack came tumbling after…! What a ‘ting’ for big people!

  16. sorry……not even watching her and not celebrating if she wins either

  17. Dick slip in …….ok ..

  18. Team Thema all the way.Take the TTGF to court.

  19. This is just so wrong on so many levels, Marissa Dick was adamant she would get to Rio by ANY means. #despicableYOU

  20. Dick is not winning any medals anyway she is just not good enough.

  21. Say what you will but I congratulate the TTOC on making the ONLY correct decision re Gymnastics and Marissa Dick.She is the only person to qualify for the Olymplcs and she deserves her spot on this year’s team.

  22. This is so wrong. I am not agreeing it was based on race. It was a nasty political move by the Board of the TTGF lead by Marquis his wife and his friends. However I thought Brian Lewis had more integrity and would have kept politics out. This whole situation was nasty from day one and the powers that be prevailed. Someone needs to be sued. If I was Thema I would never want to represent this country again. I don’t need to watch gymnastics at the Olympics.

  23. Epic Failure….She will create history for Canada She is not nor ever will represent us Born Trinidadians, but say what is we same born ones willing to sell us out and change us to cripple us an teach our children that anyone can come and steal whats yours, or your own would sell you out in a minute…For me it is now #BoycotttheOlympics I will not be watching any Gymnastics, I will not share any Gymnastics, and win or lose She will never represent me….simply because she stole from one of my people and if people don’t get that, then they don’t understand what NATIONAL PRIDE is……#Themaornobody

  24. Very sad! What a let down TTOC. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  25. Blame Thema’s coach. His initial report opened the window for TTGF

  26. TTOC acted as cowards. BOOM!!!!

  27. This is sooooo third world. Thema maybe God didn’t want you in Rio. Keep the faith and trust God to guide you into the future. Luv u baby.

  28. THIS. Is. So. Unfair. And. I. Precieve. It. Too. Have. An. Element. Of. Tonya. Harding. In. It. I. For. One. Not. Supporting. Marisa. Dick fire. Bun. The. Ttgf

  29. Actually they are all Dicks!

  30. What part of we dont want her to represent T&T do they not understand

  31. I’m not surprised by this decision. I sincerely hope Ms. Dick delivers…….your day will come Thema, fear not. Your day will come as well TTOC, and I suspect that you would rue that day….

  32. Soooooo???? A Canadian is representing T&T in the Olympics……interesting :3 . I wonder if a Trini can go to any other country and represent on a national level like this???

    • Nothing odd here. You know of Chris Burchill and Shaka Hislop, both of whom played for our men’s national football side who are born English men (To Trini parents of course). Matter of fact, Shaka’s daughter is in gymnastics repping T&T as well! Yeah, the US have foreign born athletes rep them as well. They, of course, become US citizens first. Marissa probably has dual citizenship.

  33. I guess Thema’s mother isn’t watching the pain on her daughter’s eyes. Steups. A sad day for gymnastics in Trinidad and Tobago. For sports in general.

  34. The Olympics is a forum for principles and fairness and this would kick in from the preparation stage to qualification. Competition should be ‘clean’ and this should apply to the athlete, the athlete’s team and the administration. If the process is unfair the choice would be unfair … contaminated. If the athlete is innocent … no difference. If it is the country’s first time, tough luck. Everyone should have acted in the Olympic sprit. PRINCIPLED BEHAVIOUR AND FAIRNESS MUST ALWAYS TRUMP OPPORTUNITY! T&T has lost out here!

  35. May 2nd, 2016 is a day that will go down in history as a day of Infamy in Trinidad and Tobago.
    It must always be remembered as the day when justice, fair-play and decency in were sacrificed on the altar of expediency in this country.

    We the citizens must lift up our voices even harder. It is either Thema goes or nobody goes. Injustice must not be allowed to prevail.

  36. What memorable day for gymnastics Lasana? It is a day of utter shame and disgrace for sport in particular and our nation in general !

    Marisa’s ‘ cut throat’ comment was a foreboding of her warped and corrosive mindset that she and her mom were prepared to go to any lengths to achieve their Rio objective.The end justified the means as far as they were concerned. Further as you rightly pointed out her mother’s email where she reported that Marissa was of the view “that no one was fighting for her” is added evidence she was expecting people in power to subvert the process and manipulate the system to her benefit ,even at the expense of Thema Williams who wipped her derriere at the Glasgow Championship by 18 places. Enter David Marquez and Ricardo Lue Shue.

    What a travesty of justice ! The TTOC ignored the evidence of the TTGF where they were prepared to ignore their contractural agreement that the highest rank athlete would be the automatic choice to represent TT at the Test event in RIO last month. It was the very TTOC and Brian Lewis who had to intervene and advise the TTGF not to violate its own contract with Thema. It was clear to the entire nation that the federation was carrying out the dictate of Hannifer Dick to award that spot to her daughter at any cost. Cut throat time….. David Marquez and Ricardo Lue shue were fighting tooth and nail for their charge. Cut throat time !

    What was even more galling is that the Federation waited until the last day to confirm Thema as TT representative to the Test event in RIo. Mind games to destabalise this lady of the soil was in full gear. Is this TT or some Gestaspo style dictatorship. The TTGF is clearly a private feifdom of tin gods who can do as they please. Dam laws of fairness and decency.

    TTGF “malicious intent” was manifest to even the blind as coach Gedderd himself articulated in response to their capricious decision to withdraw Thema Williams.

    It is an abomination to comtemplate Marrissa Dick marching under our flag side by side with our athletes. A day of shame !

    Only the loss to the USA in 1989 had me more more depressed than this despicable act by the Gymnastic Federation now sanctioned by the TTOC.
    In effect they are telling young sportmen and women that if you fail in qualifiers you can pull strings with the powers that be and have your place secured on the team by the hook or the crook.

    If bid rigging , match fixing, spot fixing ,doping and nepotism in the award of scholarships are frowned upon as criminal behaviour , then selection rigging as in the case of Marrissa Dick over Thema Williams is equallly as reprehensible.

    Thema Williams you will always be our gymnastic hero whether or not Dick goes to Rio and win 3 gold medals !

  37. Ummmm…… what…… I guess being sly, underhanded and unfair is the way of the world. Kimberley Blanchfield

  38. Good luck Marisa you do great and will look better at the rio 2016

  39. So we saw an injustice took place and instead of sending a clear message that we are not tolerant of such we gave her a pass because it would be our first time at the Olympics in that sporting category. We’ll that trini once again it just shows that corruption pays smfh

  40. Of course this backward country will achieve a first time in history milestone. We will have a fake blonde Canadian representing us at the Olympics because she was given an unfair advantage over a daughter of the soil who is a far superior athlete. SMFH.

  41. What has happened here is what for centuries Trinidad and Tobago has always promoted as a subculture. . .we have always allowed our friends and family to secure positions that we knowingly belong to more qualified, talented and experienced person’s knowing full well they are unable to do the job. It is an evil we perpetuate daily. So many ppl have been hurt and sideline by this evil practice it not funny. We never consider the emotional and psychological burdens we place on person’s in these situations because we put ambition and greed over integrity and process. It is an evil way we have and Thema has been made to suffer this fate because we have never stood as a nation to say we do not accept this as a way of life.

  42. The sad story of T&T continues

  43. All of them is Dick’s we smh ?????????

  44. Discrimination. 2 d judgement highest

  45. Whatever medal she gets as a TRINIBAGOIAN I will never accept it NEVER

  46. They never was going to give up that spot to create history

  47. LOL… Well Marisa, seems the ball is in your court

  48. Expect nothing and you will not be disappointed!

  49. Canadian Thema Fan

    FIG , TTGF , Pelletier, the Lue Shues, the Dows, the Dicks, they all had it all figured out. And they protect each other.

    What a shameful situation this is. Canadians following this is are not happy to be shed in this light or represented in any way by the unjust actions of a select few either.

    Despite Dick’s people spinning innocence, there is awareness of the true situation in Alberta, and the gymnastics community feels pure disgust for those involved in deception.

    Much love and admiration for Thema, she is a true champion.

  50. What a lesson for our young people!!! Shame on them all!!

  51. Im sooo upset. Marisa and her mom should go back where they came from and TTOC should have given up the spot and allow Azerbaijan athlete to compete.
    We need a demonstration!

  52. I haven’t heard/read statement from TTOC but am hoping that they accepted the spot in order to give Thema a fighting chance.! That is to say we have a spot (although for now it’s Dick’s) and Thema’s legal team can continue their fight with hope that her case can be heard by The Court of Arbitration for Sport or similar adjudication body with influence!!!

  53. Well I’m sure we won’t be singing “Champion” in honor of The Dick.

  54. No amout of Blue Soap could sanitize this wrong.

  55. the TTOC has just demonstrated something that is deep rooted in our society ; lack of fortitude,ineptitude and lack of ethical responsibility. the president should have taken the high road on this. chastising the TTGF for breach of their procedures , allowing this debacle to occur in the first place. and due to principle the TTOC should have opted not to send any gymnist until they have gotten their affairs in order. is making history more important than principle and integrity …. well for the president of the TTOC he had the perfect opportunity to rise above this debacle and come out on the right side of the story but ….. his ruling has just shrouded any glimmer of hope in restoring core values to the organisation a sad turn of events…

  56. Seems like a few names besides Marisa’s will be etched in the history of T&T gymnastics. Such a sad day.

  57. the TTOC has just demonstrated something that is deep rooted in our society ; lack of fortitude,ineptitude and lack of ethical responsibility. the president should have taken the high road on this. chastising the TTGF for breach of their procedures , allowing this debacle to occur in the first place. and due to principle the TTOC should have opted not to send any gymnist until they have gotten their affairs in order. is making history more important than principle and integrity …. well for the president of the TTOC he had the perfect opportunity to rise above this debacle and come out on the right side of the story but ….. his ruling has just shrouded any glimmer of hope in restoring core values to the organisation a sad turn of events…

  58. Will definitely be supporting another country

  59. call this shock and awe ,the way how this issue rolled out deliberate campaign of misinformation ,still querying thestory line of the travel time which seems to suggest a standby arrangement remain in a sterile holding bay,await futher instructions,it all together does not add up tomany gaps in the story

  60. How do you like it Marisa Dick, being probably the first person to represent this country in olympic gymnastics with absolutely veery little to no support from your home country?

    Oh yeah, I forgot, you’re only Canadian at heart, as your own post on your Facebook account stated. So it probably matters not to you.

  61. My damn BP through the roof now ?

  62. Dick is no Trinidadian so in reality she’s representing Canada via T&T….

  63. I want to know how Thema is dealing will all this. I don’t think I can go to any sports awards after this has happened. I would want nothing to do with the sporting fraternity in TnT

  64. Even if she wins Gold, she could jump on a plane and go straight Canada with it. She need not mention Trinidad and Tobago because she does not represent us. Well I can speak for me. She does not represent me.

  65. Can’t say I’m surprised with all the drama that’s been going on but this decision has floored me. I’m totally baffled by the TTOC’s choice given the facts of the case. They obviously chocked at the final hurdle. This kind of mismanagement and behaviour of the TTGF would never be rewarded or accepted in UK. I’m totally Team Thema all the way…….

  66. ???? honestly Trini’s bark worst than their bite TTOC just gave away our dreams of a real trini representing, wake me up when it’s over, looking forward to Gabby Douglas competing?

  67. THIS DESERVE PROTEST!!!! Anytime this woman represent TT, the TTGF is rewarded for its actions… This can;t be fair.. I will never support this shyte.. NEVER!!!! ???????????

  68. Something not right, SporTT ask for a report from TTGF by the 3rd May, but TTOC rush and made their decision on the 2nd, CURIOUS.

  69. This makes me sick how unjust, and wrong this is, and for Marisa Dick’s sportsmanship absolutely poor, she lacks integrity and respect for her fellow athletes whom has worked just as hard and went through a whole lot, I’m disgusted by her classless, rehearsed and overzealous response to that interview on Tv6 . My tv wouldn’t even be on when she performs at rio. Hope all that you are accepting is worth it, and if you do win medal know that you STOLE it. It wasn’t earned. #disgusted where is her sense of responsibility as an athlete!

  70. TTOC … I cannot support your decision. I understand that you based it on the fact that Ms Dick qualified as ‘supposedly’ correct procedure was followed by the FIG and it is not under you jurisdiction to question that. Therefore, in that light Ms Dick ‘justly’ qualified for the Rio spot.
    However….. in the same breathe you may seek disciplinary action towards TTGF, questioning the manner she was accredited in the first place?? So my question is – if the TTOC is suggesting that due process wasn’t followed by the TTGF to remove Thema and replace her with Marisa. Wouldn’t her qualifying position by the FIG be null and void? Since it was unjust in the first place?? ?
    Then taking the fact that the FIG has not stated that due process was followed, only that they approved Marisa qualification… Cause let’s face it … That would mean saying “oops, I made a mistake”… Which was never going to happen.
    Im not even going to harp on the conflict of interest between the Trini on the FIG board and the Trini on the TTGF board.
    I will say this. If Marisa earned that spot she would have had my full support… Regardless of her birthplace.
    The TTOC was placed in a terrible position but they have not stood for integrity or honesty or fairness.

  71. Well Marisa Dick will surely create history as the most hated T& T Olympian. Nothing will ever change that. It will always be her legacy.

  72. Disgraceful, dickless wonders

  73. So not even watching that part of olympics!

  74. ill gotten gains never last.

  75. There are 2 agreements at play. The athlete’s agreement is referenced but there is another.

    There is also the Selection Process Document:

    October 11 2015 – Carynn Chen WAG Chairperson sent “Selection Process for Olympics 2016” document to Marisa, Odiviu, John & Thema via email.

    TTOC upheld this document as official after World Championships, October 2015.

    This document states:
    7) Replacement of the Selected Athlete

    In the case of the Selected Athlete becoming injured or potentially being unable to fill the TTO position at the Test Event, the gymnast’s coach will be required to contact the TTGF
    President and the WAG Chairperson via email within 24 hours of the gymnast’s injury or decision to withdraw from the event.

    At this point, the athlete who finished with the second highest all-around score and who must also have qualified for the test event -at the World Championships will become eligible to represent TTO at the Test Event. The TTGF President will communicate with the replacement athlete’s coach to confirm the athlete’s availability, and readiness for competition. Once readiness is confirmed, the replacement athlete’s name will be submitted to the LOC (time-permitting). Any substitutions will be subject to the Late Athlete Replacement Policy and are no longer
    at the discretion of the TTGF or TTOC.

    Related Facts:
    • The Selected Athlete was not injured. She had a sore ankle.
    • The gymnast did not decide to withdraw from the event
    • The coach did not contact the TTGF President.
    • FIG have confirmed there was no problem with their own process as related to changing the athlete registered and have awarded the spot to TTO / Marisa Dick.

    Nowhere in either document does it give authority to the TTGF President or Elected Members to conduct either a telephone or email ‘round robin’ in the dead of night to withdraw an athlete and replace her with the “alternate” out of ‘concern’ for the selected athlete due to an existing ‘injury’.

    Nor does it state that the President can simply send an email at 1:27 am (coach’s time) to the National Coach on duty and withdraw the selected athlete, without consultation with the coach, the athlete, the accredited Paramedical staff or the FIG medical staff.

    The FIG statement also says in terms of selection, that is between the TTOC and TTGF. So really, referring to a statement from the FIG stating that no substitution was possible as it was a nominative spot is confirming what we already knew and had been discussing for some time. This was not new news.

  76. So…when will the protests start?

    Carpetbagging in gymnastics —matter of national pride

    Carla Rauseo
    Monday, May 2, 2016
    Dirt Under the Nail
    Marisa Dick repeats in all her interviews a very well-rehearsed statement that, despite all the “negative support,” she hopes that people will just be glad that Trinidad and Tobago is being represented at the Olympics. Should we be glad, if in fact it does come to pass?
    Let’s put all the bobol aside. Would the citizens of T&T support Marisa Dick if she had obtained the Olympic spot fair and square, despite the fact that she was not born, nor bred, nor educated, nor trained in gymnastics in T&T?
    The answer would be a probable yes, albeit, I suspect, with considerably less zeal and passion than we supported athletes like Keshorn Walcott, George Bovell, Cleopatra Borell, Hasley Crawford and Njisane Phillip who came out of the soul and earth of Trinidad and Tobago. These athletes we saw as truly our own, from the loins of La Trinity…sons and daughters of our own making. Marisa…not so much.
    An athlete with a Trinidadian passport can represent T&T on the international stage. However, one who has not been born, who has not lived or been educated, or who has not participated/trained under local tutelage in local circumstances cannot be considered a product of what the country has to offer.
    There are many situations where athletes compete under the flags of other countries. They are known as “carpetbaggers,” a term originating from the US Civil War era meaning “an outsider; especially: a nonresident or new resident who seeks private gain from an area often by meddling in its business or politics.” The reasons for carpetbagging are varied, but one constant is a symbiotic relationship between the athlete and the country of representation, usually (for the country) for political gain rather than national pride.
    For the athlete, representing another country offers the opportunity of a lifetime, which they would otherwise not have had in their home country, often due to fierce competition for Olympic spots. It is frequently a case of inferior athletes competing for countries that may not even have the sport at all!! Take for example, Vanessa Mae, who is renowned for her skills as a superb international techno-acoustic violinist, and less well known for her ability to ski. Born in Singapore to a Thai father and raised in London, she competed in Alpine Skiing for tropical Thailand in the Sochi Winter Olympics, thanks to Daddy’s passport.
    More sinister carpetbagging occurred in the 2012 London Olympics, where Bulgarian weightlifters Boyanka Kostova and Valentin Hristov represented Azerbaijan for a fee of over $500,000. Bahrain and Qatar also import Kenyan runners as well as Bulgarians. In 2000 Qatar bought an entire eight-person weightlifting team in exchange for citizenship and $1,000,000.
    However, this raises questions of integrity. The Olympics prides itself on representing qualities of sportsmanship. Perusal of the Olympic Charter shows the great emphasis it places on “respect for universal fundamental ethical principles” and fair play. The role of the International Olympic Committee, and by extension the TTOC, is to “encourage and support the promotion of ethics and good governance in sport,” and must “take action against all forms of manipulation of competition and related corruption.” I am quite certain that, given the above scenarios, and the current one in T&T, some carpetbaggers do not meet this criteria for an Olympic ambassador. It seems that the IOC (and now the International Gymnastics Federation) may not be as formidable in their approach to ethics and corruption as their Charter suggests.
    This is not Trinidad’s first situation of carpetbagging. Enter Chris Birchall, a member of the 2006 Soca Warriors Team who scored the equalising goal against Bahrain, which assisted T&T in qualifying for the World Cup in Germany. His mother was Trinidadian, but he was born, raised and trained in the UK, and received permission to play for T&T based on “me mum”. Some will rightfully argue that without his carpetbagging, we would never have made it to Germany. But football is a team sport, and supporters of Birchall’s involvement can easily win the argument in that vein, especially since local Dennis Lawrence scored the winning goal in the second match. However, would qualification have happened without Chris Birchall?
    Carpetbagging does have its pros, as in the Chris Birchall case. Marisa Dick’s argument is that her carpetbagging will allow T&T gymnastics to be represented at the Olympics. True. But there is a bigger issue. Let’s reverse the positions of Thema and Marisa in the World Championship in 2015. Let’s say they both qualified for the Rio Test Event, but Marisa placed higher than Thema, and based on the contract, Marisa, who received the higher score, would go to RIo. Now think…as a Trinbagonian, would you rather a carpetbagger who has no connection to us, except Mommy’s passport, represent T&T? Or would you prefer someone from our own loins, one who we have moulded, who still obtained qualifying, albeit lower, scores?
    A difficult decision for many people, but I believe that national pride plays a much larger role than just placement in a competition and qualifying scores. In the end, what brings a country together is national pride, as evidenced by the Soca Warriors in 1990 and 2006. Furthermore, in these times of recession, crime, and the downward spiralling of personal morals, evidenced by the bottomless potholes dug by the TTGF along the road to Rio, national pride is more important than ever in this matter.
    My point is that the criteria for selection of foreign nationals cannot just be qualifying scores and a passport. In all matters of carpetbagging, the country of representation needs to carefully weigh the pros and cons for the country given the current social and political climate, and the situation of the athlete, all in the context of the Olympic Charter before deciding on representation. It is not simply a case of using Mommy’s passport. Where one draws the line regarding representation is very grey, and possibly should be considered on a case-by-case basis…unless you’re India which prohibits foreign nationals from representing the country altogether.
    A fundamental goal of Olympism is the “promotion of a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.” Sport is supposed to unite, not divide. The TTOC needs to carefully consider what their decision will mean to the people of Trinidad and Tobago, especially given our grave current social climate. Care should be taken not to insult the population, but rather promote unity. What does carpetbagging mean to the citizens of T&T? How does TTOC value national pride? We shall soon see…
    Carla Rauseo, DPT, CSCS, ATRIC is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Certified Aquatic Therapy Rehabilitation Instructor at Total Rehabilitation Centre in San Juan.

  78. Go! Be on your way Ms Dick. Zika awaits you.

  79. Is this a victory to celebrate? TTOC needs to read over what the Olympics really stand for. This decision is not a representation of what they are about fairness, equality, true sportsmanship. Is making history for us so much more important? Just as Dick history for all the wrong reasons. Contrary to what others may say wishing harm to people and being downright nasty is just as bad I take no part in that but rather a voice for Thema and all the other youth of this country that want adults to do as they say, walk the talk because young people watching and this generation NEED moral people in their corner not money not things not prestige nor any of the crap they putting value to today! THEMA NO ONE HOLDS YOUR DESTINY IN THEIR HANDS MORE THAN THE ALMIGHTY YOU GO WHERE HE LEADS TAKE THAT LESSON FROM THIS NIGHTMARE STAND STRONG!

  80. I have no friends Kester. I am my only friend. I agree with Keith where we should have abandoned for PRINCIPLE as long as the TTOC would have not been penalised.

  81. Thema is the real hero in all of this. Was it hard to say that if Marissa really wanted to represent us that she do it the right way at the next olympics. I guess her team didn’t think that she could do it either, so stealing was the only way. So disappointed. I will be supporting another country.

  82. As a boy My Grandmother’s always used to impress upon that “The Upholder worse than the thief”…. Maybe Granny should have adopted TTOC

  83. I Feel for Thema…. I’m not Going to Discriminate against Merissa though, She Gets My Support come Olympics.

  84. Ok class, the lesson today is, ‘It is ok to steal what you did not earn because it is good for the country. ‘

  85. I do believe that this would be the first time Trinbago will not celebrate an Olympic medal…that is if she even wins one ??

    • Natasha I hear you girl. But you know the suspect thing is if Ms. Dick even had some inkling, hope, potential to medal at the olympics, I’m sure the Canadian board ( having greater experience in this than our TTGF) would of been able to suss that out the get go. We can all safely guess that this nationally-confused “Trinidadian on the floor but Canadian at heart” would not of felt the need to resort to a “Plan B, C, D … whatever” to GT to the olympics.

  86. History was created by Thema…. who actually earned her spot…. Dick just showing face in Rio…. She is not the one who creating history…..

  87. Is it only me but I saw where they could not select Thema because she did not take part in the qualifying event in Brazil. The TTOC did what was best in that it is the first time we will have a representative at the Olympics in Gymnastics that in itself is history making. I hope Thema destroys the TTGF in court and they be made to pay for their treachery. I also hope that Marissa Dick is able to do well enough to ensure that we stamp our presence in the Olympics. One thing I have seen over the years is that do not count anybody out. In the heat of compitition anything can happen.

    • Oh now, no hate for injury pls.
      But Gordon, as you said, “in the heart of competition, anything can happen”. ….and it has. A federation abused their powers to “install” their honeybunch. Thema jumped through their hoops & still came out on top, and they still knocked her off in the 99th hour. And apparently the Dick family was involved in such bias. There is no pride in this representation. None.

    • Marisa Dick is not representing Trinidad and Tobago. She is representing herself so she could have a move named after her. It is only because Canada booted her out that she suddenly knows T&T. Who the hell cares whether she wins or not. She and her mother could stuff it. Shades of our deceitful pastor.

    • Sadly i too agree with Ade Inniss-King. I rather no one than someone who connived to steal a place at the olympics. Wonder if Marisa will continue to represent Trinidad for next olympic or going running back to the Canadian saying she got the experience now chose her

    • I think the TTOC hands were tied. They had to seek legal advice and based their decision on the FIG selection…. Which can still be questioned due to the conflict of interest and if they breached their own regulations.
      However… They could have still chosen to stand on the fact the Marisa while accredited by FIG the process to remove Thema was questioned and due process not followed. Therefore, is the accreditation valid?
      But… They didn’t… Based on legal advice…

    • When I look at this Thema Williams and Marisa Dick issue my mind then goes back to Bob Marley’s prophetic words, “until the colour of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes, there is war”.

    • Kyle Blades . What’s colour got to do with it?

    • Yes, guys, make it all about race now. WTH.

    • Please do not direct your belief to me. I am not bound by the shackles of a time gone by and refuse to cause such to undermine the future. I do not see race and although I would hope others do as I do, I recognise and accept that many don’t which is okay also. Be blessed.

  88. Spare a thought for Thema, she may appear strong but I’m sure she’s hurting inside. It might be even harder for her when the Olympics start and her event is on TV knowing she should be there representing her country instead of Dick. So it will get even harder for her.

  89. Exactly what is Clause 13 of the Olympic charter ?

  90. Facical! Inclusive of Brian Lewis’ and the TTOC inaction. The TTGF didn’t name the the athlete months after the qualifying tournament that Thema beat Marissa. Why didnt the TTOC demand that info from the TTGF. Quite frankly I’m disappointed that Brian Lewis and crew aren’t being raked over the coals for this issue.

  91. Noo she really needs a miracle because she will face the wrath of trinis if she doesnt! If you and your camp fought so hard to take another person’s hard earn spot at the olympics then you beeeeeeettttterrrr produce something for all that they have done.

  92. SORRY. Not my representative.

  93. History by thiefing someone else’s dream away hours before the Test in Rio…..

  94. Dick ain’t bringing home no medal. If she does that would be a miracle

  95. Well I know the TTOC busy soliciting donations from the public to support Team TTO at the Olympics. And I now plenty people like myself were waiting to see who ends up on that team. Well “not a dam cent for dem”

  96. I wish that there was some way to get Thema on the US team. Again ah saying this girl better bring home ah medal because they wouldn’t be able to find even the skinniest pothound to greet her at the airport if she doesn’t.

  97. Good for her I hope she makes Canada proud !

  98. . The problem of LIFE in our little country is not one of resources. It is one of VISION and LEADERSHIP. The bankrupt TTGF should have killed this nonsense immediately it arose. The TTOA should have abandoned the Olympic place and stood on PRINCIPLE. We not winning anything in Rio. And the MOS will do nothing. Vision and Leadership..

  99. Well i hope the tv provider is buying the feed from NBC we stand a very good chance of not even know she was part of the prelims cause if u not part of the US team or a threat to the US team we shall not hear or see a Dick. Based on her recent results she is no threat.

  100. This is the same Brian Lewis that said the TTOC has the final say. Oh how they make strange bedfellows

  101. Sadly we will be represented by a Dick. Does she know our National Anthem?…..or Bird?…..or Contributed or otherwise served our Country???

  102. Would have hoped for more backbone from the TTOC on this. Makes a mockery of contracts and agreements.

  103. Bullcrap..and people expect people to support sports in dis country. Hahahhahaha . this country administrators are a bunch of clowns an with no balls to do what is right.. Is always ah bunch ah corruption they competing in.. Buh say what at least we no brian lewis a dis team had there ballz sized down to midget levels

  104. Once again, Trinidad & Tobago Administrators show that they do not HAVE THE BALLS to make the HARD DECISIONS!!!

    The TTOC has made the decision to send Marissa Dick.

    Where is the justice for Thema Williams?!!!!

    Just another athlete and sports issue to be swept under the rug by the SPORTS MAFIA of this TWIN ISLAND REPUBLIC!!!

  105. the TTOC dropped the ball this time. Sorry to say, but because of the circumstances surrounding the situation, there should be NO athlete named to represent TnT . They had a chance to purge the entire organisation and reset the sport and administration , but as usual, they chose the easy way out. Confidence Lost.

  106. Hope the Minister of Sports will not allow our money to be spent on sending a Canadian to Rio.

    • Exactly.
      Bcuz she said she considers herself canadian & canada is her home.
      Damn outta timing lil twit.
      I dunno who she’s representing.
      Certainly NOT ME.
      I’m not claiming anybody who claims her trini roots conveniently.

    • I have a problem with a foreigner conveniently using T&T citizenship as a stepping stone to the Olympics, and then representing my country and me at those Games. Yes, legally, you have T&T citizenship by descent. But the question arises: when did your mother apply for T&T citizenship on your behalf?? Was it after you failed to make it onto your Canadian national team? Or was this part of a long-term strategy to get you there?

      Marisa, you have publicly stated that while you will be representing T&T, you will always be Canadian at heart. Fine, this is understandable since you were born and grew up there.

      But the only reason you will have the honour of wearing the Red, White and Black is because you would never qualify for your own national team, so you decided to get to the Olympics through the back door— EVEN IF this meant pulling strings and using connections to unseat the LEGITIMATE T&T representative, who scored far higher than you in the 2015 qualifying event.

      I hope that you and your mother are satisfied with yourselves and can sleep at night, after months of your plotting, planning and scheming and the machinations of the TTGF to make you— the poorer performer of the two gymnasts!!!— the T&T representative.

      You simply HAD to pursue your dream at all costs, didn’t you? Even at the cost of someone else’s career, of your integrity (was there ever any?) and of the wrath and contempt of the general T&T population.

      I do not and never will view you as my representative: you are a pretender to the throne, and I do not see you as the legitimate representative of my country. Even if you win the Gold medal, I will not be celebrating.

  107. Scotty Ranking

    Sad day for sport in this country. Marisa has been rewarded, unfortunately, for bad behaviour by both her camp and her TTGF insiders. Justice has not been delivered by any means and I hope Team Thema receives legal redress and compensation for this travesty foisted upon us all.
    The TTGF has indeed cast a pall over the ainistration of this sport locally and, as I’ve said before, Hannifer’s pageant mom performance in this saga reeks of cronyism and false entitlement.

  108. Neither of them was ever going to win a medal. At these Olympics.

  109. Jump high or low Trinidad would not be getting a gold medal for Gymnastics! Dick isn’t trying to medal for this country!If she had Jamaican blood she may have gone there to try and qualify too!Although I feel them Jamaicans would of dealt with them dicks differently!

  110. As is the Norm in Trinidad…. “Is who you know and Who knows you”.
    I’m not one bit Surprised by this Decision from TTOC ???

  111. Not surprising sadly. The lesson is cheat, lie, self promote and misrepresent and in this banana Republic you will be successful. Especially if you’re a Dick.

  112. Not surprised by this. It would take a lot of balls to not take the spot. Given where our society is, that was an unlikely scenario. Business as usual…cutting line, bribes…etc.

    And it matters not to Dick that she will forever be the most hated Trini athlete….

  113. hmmmmmm I support Thema no matter what, it is still not the end but if this girl don’t bring home a medal or something to just even get a look in her direction from Trinis I fear the vengeance of moko on her will be slow and harsh.

  114. Rio vacation….Nothing more.

  115. I am very sorry.
    Even if she medals no support from me. I cannot celebrate “good” obtained by nasty wicked evil means.
    I cannot support dishonesty, apparent racism, nepotism, every other ism., corruption etc.
    And as much as I’m disgusted by the dick jr, it pales in comparison to what I feel for Mrs. Dick, the TTGF etc.
    Great role models. Great examples for the youth. ???????
    Isn’t fairplay one of the basic values of sport?

  116. Together they conspired. Together they archived.

  117. Totally fed up with this story… complete Clusterfuck on TTGF behave .. to await resignations , firing … dismissals from persons on tht board will just give me Stress … because in Trinidad there is No Redress. … I only hope tht Keith makes them pay thru Thier teeth! !!!!

  118. Take Dick den TTOC….Dick make Dey 2-knee hurt ?????

  119. It was either Dick or no one. That was the only decision the TTOC had.

  120. Up to now, no one can provide a proper timeline of how Thema was replaced. And provide the documentation to support it.

  121. In fact I think she would have had a case if they tried to deny her. A more solid case than Thema even.

  122. Well that’s a huge disappointment

  123. I couldn’t bring myself to read the entire article.

  124. Hell no we not supporting that.

  125. How are they so sure and based on what criteria will she create history ?

  126. This is a backward step for Trinidad and Tobago..

  127. As I expected. They couldn’t deny her if she wasn’t found to have done anything wrong.

  128. I think FIG’s response left them no choice.

    • Disagree. FIG statement confirmed the facts as known at the time. We all knew that the spot was nominative. We knew there could be no swap. And we knew Thema’s deselection was a matter of breaching the agreements between athlete and Federation. Nothing to do with FIG.

      The TTOC had the right to say the de-selection process was flawed and the prior actions relating to upholding their own criteria after worlds indicated apparent bias.

      They had the opportunity to say we will not allow actions completely contrary to the Olympic spirit to be rewarded and cast a shadow on us at Rio.

      They chose another route. But this is not over yet.

    • They cant punish an athlete who did nothing wrong but instead made all efforts to qualify for a spot. Punishing Marisa does not help Thema.

    • That same olympic spirit u speak of also relates to Marisa as a T&T athlete. It would not have been fair to her or T&T. The Court will decide what justice can be provided to Thema given the circumstances.

    • That’s fine. But that has nothing to do with FIG’s response.

    • FIG said they cant switch athletes so any hope of sending Thema was crushed. So TTOC was limited in its decision.

    • I’m saying that is not new. That is and has been known for a long time. It’s a nominative spot.

    • The avenues being considered by Thema’s lawyers factored in the TTOC and a desire to petition the tripartite committee. That’s a separate story and the TTOC ruled on that in Friday.

      The legal petition to CAS is the other avenue they discussed. That has not gone anywhere yet, as far as I’m aware. Certainly not anywhere for FIG to make a pronouncement on.

      The FIG release stated the facts as already know.

    • No balls. Not one of them have any to make the right call.

  129. We hoped they would to the right thing! But this was expected.. It’s very sad and sends a bad message to our promising, up-coming athletes

  130. umm what’s the Jamaican gymnast name please?

  131. Completely unsurprised. I hope John Geddert feels like the biggest idiot in the world!

    • This is a man who’s already lead athletes to win Olympic gold medals. Why would he care to feel like an idiot? The idiots in this scenario all have T&T passports.

    • Nah… The severity of his email keeps escaping people. As well as the fact that it gave the TTGF the opening it wanted…
      But whatever I guess.
      Ppl will blame only some and not all who are responsible.

    • What does this man have to gain by screwing over his athlete? Do you not see what a major boon it is to have a coach who has scored gold medals coaching our athlete in a sport we’ve not yet made our mark in? You feel he have time for this shit? The man is off to greener grasses and will never have anything to do with us and our bullshit again.

    • Really? This is like when your man horn you and you vex with the other woman.

      The athlete’s agreement clearly states the coach must be consulted before withdrawal. In fact he must initiate the withdrawal directly to the president.

      And people STILL looking at disaster just like the TTGF and willfully ignorant of the disaster of a facility they were using. All federations complaining – but Geddert mustn’t. Look.

    • Ask him why he didn’t tell TTGF she had an ankle injury prior to the night of the competition.
      In any case… I really don’t have time to go back and for with you this. George Bovell once wrote an article about foreign coaches. If I have time to look for it and post it I will.

    • Hahaha…perfect Nicole Philip Greene

    • The athlete herself has spoken on this! But clearly you have more at stake and understand better than all of us. Go with God yes.

    • Nicole Philip Greene… What, love?
      Because I wasn’t the first person to say Thema should get a lawyer? And I didn’t try to help her get one?
      Idk what we even talking about to be honest.
      If ppl think geddert’s email didn’t open the door… Then ok. I think it did.

    • Nobody is arguing that it was used to take a particular action. Not a soul. But the actions taken based on those words were illegal. John cannot possibly bear fault. That is owned by the TTGF.

    • We disagree on whether John Geddert has to take blame for writing the email that he did. That’s all.
      And my thinking that he has fault to take doesn’t mean that I’m on the side of the TTGF in any way. Or think that it is right that Marisa is the one who is going.
      Anybody who has been following this story and these threads since February would know exactly where I stand on the whole issue.
      I suggested Thema get a lawyer since the photo nonsense.
      I criticized Marisa’s heart belonging to Canada photo since whenever. Other ppl now want to talk about it. Ppl were busy liking Shaka’s piece when I was challenging him on it yet now ppl want to talk about Marisa being Canadian.
      Despite all of that however… I still think John Geddert has to accept responsibility for that email and opening the door for the TTGF. If you don’t think he has to then ok.
      Not sure how you and I reach to me having to go with God though. Lol. But ok.

    • That’s like telling me a man has no responsibility to bear for horning even if the other woman was the aggressor…
      It’s a weird analogy to draw to this situation to be honest…

    • I agree with Nicole Philip Greene and you Chabeth Haynes. Nicole isn’t disputing your position at all. I think everyone agrees that Geddert should have been more “aware” of the contents of his letter since he knew of all the untoward and under handed activities and the possibility of misconception in his email to be used against Thema. CYA is pretty much an American thing and not just Trini. No matter that he said though, gave the TTGF any right to proceed without due process, to make such a decision. Even if they flew Dick in just in case, so we had an option if the results of the medical visit proved she was unfit, that would have been understandable. They made a hasty decision and it was something they wanted to do along. The blame falls on them and no one else. They had the powers to do the right thing no matter what was in that email. They had access to Nicole Fuentes. They were rash and wrong by all standards.

    • Sheree Welch exactly. But no one could reasonably expect the TTGF to act unlawfully. Not at this level. So to say that he should have somehow expected it is to understate exactly how awful and low what the TTGF has done. Has been doing.

    • Sheree Welch, that’s like telling me the person who drove the vehicle to the scene of the crime has no responsibility to take for the execution of the crime. Yeah, the driver didn’t do anything unlawful by driving, but his/her actions facilitated what followed next.
      And John Geddert knew exactly what the TTGF was capable of which is why he waited until the final hour to say what he said.
      Maybe because of my experience with sporting associations and the nastiness that sometimes happens I see this differently. Who knows.
      But maybe that’s why I also suggested Thema get a lawyer the minute I read about how they were trying to block her. Because I know how nasty things can get.
      But I’ve been commenting on this since February. Not much more to say.
      I hope Thema pursues civil action against the TTGF and wins although that may not work out as hoped based on the TTOC decision.

    • Chabeth Haynes and Nicole Philip Greene, we have cultural differences to take into consideration. Our Trini CYA may have well written that email differently yes but no matter what; how damaging the contents of the email (or how risky the vehicle was, drunk the driver was or whatever analogy we use), there is a procedure for replacement (investigating the accident even) and that there, is the problem. I want to believe a Trini would have presumed the TTGF would have acted unlawfully because of the preceding events and build up to this. So yes Chabeth, why fuel the fire but why be unprofessional and forego your integrity because not all of the players are credible? I think he ought to take responsibility for probably not being clear and explained to the non technical persons..therefore, leave no place for ambiguity and perception. But even then, procedure needed to be followed. We have a law unto ourselves here yes. I am happy to see that we are no longer standing up and letting those in power walk all over us. Maybe we just need to come together better in our stance and we will have more power.

  132. What else did you all expect

  133. ..So much for the TTOC president’s gun talk. When you come to shoot , shoot. Don’t talk. LOLOL..

    • I am so disappointed with the TTOC. They had the opportunity to show the young people of this land that underhandedness, unfairness, biasness will never be rewarded. What a sad day for this country! I hope none of my taxpayer dollars will be going to this travesty. We have to stop the nonsense and build a country on truth and fairness. Mr. Lewis you have failed us miserably and we wll not forget!!