Home / Rio 2016 / TTOC: Dr Ian Hypolite did not duck chef de mission duties for ESPN gig

TTOC: Dr Ian Hypolite did not duck chef de mission duties for ESPN gig

The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC), which is headed by president Brian Lewis, has denied suggestions that Dr Ian Hypolite abdicated or delegated his duties as chef de mission during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, despite his numbers sessions on air as an analyst with ESPN.

Hypolite, according to the TTOC, “maintained ongoing communication with team officials during and after the disqualification” of the men’s 4×400 relay team and ensured that “all aspects of the procedures related to lodging a protest against a disqualification were in fact followed”, although he was in the ESPN studio at the time.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) executive member and Rio 2016 Olympic chef de mission. (Courtesy Sportsmax)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) executive member and Rio 2016 Olympic chef de mission, Dr Ian Hypolite.
(Courtesy Sportsmax)

The following is a full statement from the TTOC:

The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) has noted the sentiments and statements surrounding the role of the Chef de Mission at the recently concluded Rio Games 2016. The TTOC has further noted the specific questions concerning the role of Dr Ian Hypolite as Chef de Mission for Team TTO and his role as an analyst on the inaugural Caribbean focused coverage of the Olympic Games.

The TTOC confirms that at no time during the four weeks of Team TTO’s participation in the Rio Games—including the pre-games camp—did the Chef de Mission either abdicate his role or delegate any of his duties.  The TTOC therefore affirms that Dr Hypolite discharged all of the responsibilities assigned to him as Chef de Mission.

The TTOC also wishes to clarify that in the matters related to the disqualification of the TTO Men’s Relay Teams, the duty to lodge a protest with the IOC officials, rested with a specific team official, who discharged this duty according to protocol and that such a duty did not rest primarily with the Chef de Mission.

We are also satisfied that Dr Hypolite maintained ongoing communication with team officials during and after the disqualification, ensuring that all aspects of the procedures related to lodging a protest against a disqualification were in fact followed.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago’s Lalonde Gordon (left) receives the baton from Jarrin Solomon during the men’s 4x400m relay heat at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on 19 August 2016. (Copyright Johannes Eisele/AFP 2016/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago’s Lalonde Gordon (left) receives the baton from Jarrin Solomon during the men’s 4x400m relay heat at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on 19 August 2016.
(Copyright Johannes Eisele/AFP 2016/Wired868)

The TTOC appreciates that information related to the duties and procedures of officials supporting a country’s delegation may not rest in the public domain and in light of the recent circumstances, the TTOC is prepared to bring more information to the public’s attention, as it relates to team officials, as part of the TTOC’s ongoing marketing and brand transformation agenda.

The TTOC thanks the national community for their ongoing support and constructive involvement in the progress of achieving 10 or more Olympic Gold Medals by the year 2024.

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61 comments

  1. I know how difficult it is for some people to address this medical doctor/coach as Dr Hypolite. It is a culture thing. I think he does yeoman service with our athletes.

  2. C’mon Lasana….he was given an opportunity to represent Trinidad internationally on the ESPN stage. He did so very commendably. He received many kudos for his expert commentary. He has arguably done MUCH more for Trinidad by his ESPN stint than he ever could have done solely as Chef de Mission. And if you know the man, he has nothing to prove or gain…he has expanded Trinidad’s reputation internationally and I personally commend him for all his efforts.

    • Ronan G. Ali, first what does his performance at ESPN have to do with whether or not he did his job? Second, what country is Shaka Hislop from?
      And the TTOC’s argument is not: ‘look at how good he sounded’. So now this is something new.
      Tell me, if I was your employee and I spent a couple hours every work day, helping old ladies cross the street or teaching creative writing to prisoners when I should be auditing or cashing… Would I get a pat on the back for my efforts?

    • Hmm…well we will have to agree to disagree. I think he has done excellent by the country and improved Trinidad’s reputation internationally. But as a good journalist why don’t you interview him and make your own assessment before writing serial columns that defame his character? I’m sure he would be happy to speak with you. As another CIC old boy…message me if you need his contact info….

  3. Dr Hypolite you were excellent please forget the negatives.

  4. …So whats the role of ‘ Chef de Mission’ … certainly not to prepare their meals …. why have one if theres apparently no urgent need for one … can I apply for a position for Tokyo 2020 ..Chef de ESPN …

  5. Ian Hypolite was fantastic in both capacities. Refreshing.

    • Earl Best

      In both capacities? You clearly were in Rio or had a close relative on the team. What the Dickens do you know about what Dr Hypolite did in his capacity as chef de mission?

      I recommend that the TTOC hire you to write their for-public-consumption report on the performance of the chef de mission in Rio. You can begin “It was the best of teams, it was the worst of teams” and title it “A Tale of Two Capacities.”

  6. All the people are asking for is competent leadership, effective sports management, transparency in everything related to T&T sports that suggest we are progressing in a manner that would achieve the desired results of ‘Ten GOLDS in 2024’! That’s all… As a friend said to me recently… “I know I was born in the night but ‘NOT LAST NIGHT’!” After I took myself off the floor still laughing uncontrollably, I realized how profound was/is that statement. Criticism (negative) and constructive feedback should always be expected. It’s the norm. It’s what makes good fodder for self-assessment, performance improvement, self-improvement and leadership. If you are thin-skinned, please resign… because you lack the professional fortitude to motivate and inspire our sportsmen and women into achieving the desired results. Clichés like … our athletes did their best does not cut it. If you review our performance probably only 2 T&T athletes did their best because they improved on their performance. Everyone else regressed. That’s a fact. That’s an objective overview of our performance. Please do not insult the people’s intelligence with excuses. The first step is to be honest. Do not sugar coat the problem and do not take criticism personally. We are all adults.

  7. “THE TTOC CONFIRMS TTO CHEF DE MISSION TO PROVIDE TELEVISION ANALYSIS.” A CASE OF DIVIDED LOYALTY. PRESIDENT OF THE TTOC STATUS AS A LEADER IS QUESTIONABLE!

  8. Rose-Marie, this bit right here:

    “… We are also satisfied that Dr Hypolite maintained ongoing communication with team officials during and after the disqualification, ensuring that all aspects of the procedures related to lodging a protest against a disqualification were in fact followed.”

    That was when the press release moved into own goal territory. I responded to the TTOC and asked if I could be given the Chef de Mission’s job description. I haven’t received any response yet.
    I did interview Brian Lewis on Friday evening and the ESPN issue was one of those that I discussed with him. I don’t know if that has anything to do with this release that was sent out less than 24 hours after.
    That interview would be published on Wired868 before the end of the week.

  9. So he didn’t abdicate his role and he didn’t delegate any of his duties. Although Hypolite himself was previous quoted as saying the mission is not a one man show but but a team effort. Implying that there was some “delegation” of duties. Of course if the TTOC wanted to be taken seriously all they had to do was outline clearly what were the duties that the Chef didn’t abdicate or delegate. Then we would be able to determine what work, if any, he did on behalf of the TTOC. But that would be pretty difficult if it turned out he didn’t really do anything but “commentate like Ian”.

  10. This TTOC statement basically answers questions about whether Hypolite did his job by saying that he did his job. Helpful.

  11. All the people are asking for is competent leadership, effective sports management, transparency in everything related to T&T sports that suggest we are progressing in a manner that would achieve the desired results of ‘Ten GOLDS in 2024’! That’s all… As a friend said to me recently… “I know I was born in the night but ‘NOT LAST NIGHT’!” After I took myself off the floor still laughing uncontrollably, I realized how profound was/is that statement. Criticism (negative) and constructive feedback should always be expected. It’s the norm. It’s what makes good fodder for self-assessment, performance improvement, self-improvement and leadership. If you are thin-skinned, please resign… because you lack the professional fortitude to motivate and inspire our sportsmen and women into achieving the desired results. Clichés like … our athletes did their best does not cut it. If you review our performance probably only 2 T&T athletes did their best because they improved on their performance. Everyone else regressed. That’s a fact. That’s an objective overview of our performance. Please do not insult the people’s intelligence with excuses. The first step is to be honest. Do not sugar coat the problem and do not take criticism personally. We are all adults.

  12. It is not a question of what he ducked. The fact remains that if he accepted the ESPN role, another person should have been given the role and responsibility of Chef. End of story unless the TTOC is insinuating that we do not need a Chef.

  13. It was a weak release I thought.

    • Weak is joke!! But doh get me started on that subject because I still blasted vex about it and right now I cyah raise meh blood pressure anymore than it is. But I absolutely HATE when people try to take me for a fool and that’s exactly what the TTOC is trying to do. Take us all for fools. Fire the lot. Time to infuse some new blood but then again we tried that with the TTFA and look where THAT got us. Yuh just cyah win them. SMDH!!

  14. Like allyuh forget that doctors work in the public hospitals and during breaks run over to their private practice . He has been training for this event a while now and should be given a gold medal . LOL !

  15. Well it’s clear these jokers just looking out for each other. Incompetence likes company apparently. We’re supposed to believe that during commercial breaks Dr. Hypolite was busy taking charge of the disqualification process and completed his duties just in time to smile for the camera. This is why our sports will never get anywhere. As long as people in charge never admit when they make mistakes. Instead the TTOC trying to feed us the usual BS line that we the public don’t have all the information.

  16. I’m still trying to stop laughing after just reading the headline!! ESPECIALLY when I recall his confidence on the night talking to Shaka about overturning our ban…my exact thoughts at that time is what $#!% is he talking!

  17. this is where ethical issues come into play, Dr Hypolite can you honestly tell the public that you were able to do the two jobs effectively? Did you get paid by TTOC and also by ESPN? Whose interest were you fulfilling? Why cant people in T&T say no whenits comes to money, your furst and foremost job was Chef de Missionto the taxpayers of T&T, ESPN came up after is is that you could not pass up this ince in akife time opportubity, If so I dont begrudge you,but then you should have told Brian Lewis , to replace you.

  18. Dr Hypolite you are a professional and can handle networking. I enjoyed you on ESPN. Congratulations. Respect to you, Ato and Shaka. Fly the flag.

  19. Also think it is time this current TTOC disqualify themselves and stop taking us for idiots. Steups!!

  20. And I came down with the last shower of rain. SMDH!!

  21. I think V.S. Naipaul summed it up very well: MIMICMEN

  22. Transpairancy and Accoutability doesn’t fit within the vocabulary of neither TTOC and the NAAA.The role/ function of media is also under questionable scrutiny.Aside from Wired 868.com,no questions are being asked, no in-depth analysis on the performance of T& T at the games as the reasons why we fell short of expectation (on and off the track. What are the thoughts/views of the athletes?.) Yet TTOC/NAAA is so brazen to ask why Jamaica is doing so well?.

  23. I would like to hear from the TTOC whose specific responsibility it was to lodge the appeal and who did Dr Hypolite advise on the appeal. Surely his role as chef de mission must have required his physical presence at the games hence his trip to Rio with the team. His role with ESPN potentially created a conflict of interest which the he and/or the TTOC should explain.

  24. It would be nice to see the clip from ESPN,where Dr Hypolite when questioned by his co host,appeared to be clueless about the disqualification of the relay team.

  25. Ask Brian Lewis what is the shape of the World and he will tell you it is square …

  26. People once more are right to ask and or criticize. I must admit that when I read that Ian will have so e ESPN duties I wondered “isn’t he an official member of the TT contingent ?”. Especially when people feel that we can be doing better they will want to see all hands on deck or at least have it appear that way . That was bad form and we cannot afford that

  27. Yeah right, I was born in the night but not last night…

  28. TTOC should have published the job specs for its Chef de Mission with this release.

    • Well, I’ve asked the TTOC to supply us with his job description so we can see for ourselves.

    • No need to… it’s online if you google a full description is available
      Well your taxing paying dollars paid a trip for someone to do a role for another company who I’m sure could have paid
      My problem is not the flexibility to do the chef,coach and tv analyst but you must show more respect to the contigent because you’re head of delegation
      Would like to know where he was when Jehue was running

    • I did not see a description for the TTOC Chef De Mission Sherdon Ifm Pierre. So feel free to share if you can find one.

    • So I didn’t see TTOC
      I saw a general by Olympic Committee and I read Canada own

    • That’s not necessarily the same thing Sherdon. I read Canada’s and Jamaica’s before.
      But it is only fair to judge based on what the TTOC requires not Canada.
      We might see the two and then compare them and ask questions about the difference. But we ent reach there yet.

    • So it’s ok to be sent to do a job and volunteer or even get paid for another job?

    • I’m not saying that. I’m just saying it will help to know what his requirements for the TTOC were. Otherwise it is a bit of guess work.

    • The first day I saw him it was a red flag. However, only became an issue when medals were scarce that is my problem with the scenario.

    • Joann I think many people blinked twice when they first saw him on TV. In fairness to the public though many didn’t realize how extensive his role at ESPN would have turned out to be. The man was like salt in the people place. Also many people only took notice of the role of the chef de mission when something occurred (the disqualification) that people knew was right up the chef’s alley. That is what made most people sit up and think “wait nah…who handling we protest???” While they watching smooth talking Hypolite smiling for the camera and not looking the least bothered that 2 of our relay teams were disqualified.

    • I agree fully Rose-Marie. I had no idea that he was going to be such a regular.

    • Earl Best

      Chabeth, your tense suggests that you think it is too late. Well, I remain very interested in the document/information and I feel sure I’m not the only one.

      President Brian Lewis and the TTOC SHOULD PUBLISH or make public the chef de mission’s job specs. Why the need for secrecy? And if they decline so to do, Dr Hypolite should step into the breach and put the document in the public domain.

      Any other way, the huge dark cloud that now hangs over the good doctor may well prove to have no silver lining…