Home / Rio 2016 / New topless photo rocks gymnastics; Marisa and Thema sent to disciplinary committee

New topless photo rocks gymnastics; Marisa and Thema sent to disciplinary committee

The Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation (TTGF) has decided to send its two top athletes, Thema Williams and Marisa Dick, to its Disciplinary Committee, after the local body was rocked by a second topless photograph this morning.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick competes at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. Dick placed 14th with a total of 51.25. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick competes at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
Dick placed 14th with a total of 51.25.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

On Tuesday, the TTGF received a topless Instagram photo of Rio-bound 20 year old Trinidad and Tobago gymnast, Williams, which was also forwarded to the local gymnastics community and media.

The local body met on Williams’ matter yesterday evening and came to a decision.

However, before the TTGF could make a press statement today, its executive members were stunned to receive another topless photograph—this time of its 2015 Sportswoman of the Year nominee, Marisa Dick.

TTGF secretary Elicia Peters Charles confirmed that she received a photograph of the 18 year old Dick today, which was forwarded to roughly 40 other email addresses including members of the media.

As a result, the local gymnastic body delayed its announcement, so as to pronounce on both athletes at the same time. The final decision, revealed today by press release, was that both athletes will be sent to the TTGF’s disciplinary committee.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams performs at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. Williams is in line to be Trinidad and Tobago's first gymnast to perform at an Olympic Games. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams performs at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
Williams is in line to be Trinidad and Tobago’s first gymnast to perform at an Olympic Games.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“With reference to photographs on social media of National Elite Athletes Thema Williams and Marisa Dick,” stated the TTGF release, “the Federation has decided, in accordance with the athletes’ agreements and the Constitution of the Federation, to refer their matters to the Disciplinary Committee.

“The committee is scheduled to meet next week to deliberate. As soon as the committee is finished with its deliberations, a further release would be sent.”

The highlighted photographs—both of which show very little or none of the breasts of the respective athlete—look set to be a distraction for the gymnastic fraternity during what should be a historic year for the local sport.

Last October, Williams moved a step closer to becoming Trinidad and Tobago’s first gymnast to compete at an Olympics when she qualified for this April’s Rio Olympic Test Event, after a 59th place finish at the Glasgow 2015 World Artistic Gymnastic Championship. Dick, who earned global attention for having a special mount patented last month, finished 77th out of 192 participants in Glasgow.

Trinidad and Tobago has just one available artistic gymnastic spot for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and, if Williams is ruled out for any reason before April, Dick will take her place.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick.

Bizarrely, Dick’s photograph was forwarded by someone who identified themselves as “Kamara Heinz.”

On Tuesday, a mysterious Georgette Heinz sent a topless image of Williams to the TTGF, the local gymnastic community and the media and demanded action against the 20 year old athlete.

Nobody within the local community knew Georgette Heinz or whether her identity was fake. The poster did not respond to an email from Wired868.

It is uncertain who is behind either email. But they are not assumed to be the same person.

Tuesday’s email carried a long moral speech while this morning’s message contained only a photograph.

Like Tuesday, today’s photograph, which appeared to be taken on Snapchat, did not reveal the teenager’s breasts and might not generally be considered lewd.

Photo: This photograph of Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick was forwarded to the local gymnastics community and media by "Kamara Heinz" this morning.
Photo: This photograph of Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick was forwarded to the local gymnastics community and media by “Kamara Heinz” this morning.

By evening, though, a “Melissa Grant”, who described herself as “a concerned parent and citizen”, joined the e-mail exchange and sought to defend Williams by claiming that her Instagram photo was taken for “black awareness advocacy” while suggesting that Dick’s snap was “somewhat more revealing.”

Grant, who re-posted Dick’s topless photograph and introduced a third image to the conversation, insisted that if the TTGF tried to block Williams from competing at the Rio Olympics, it would be left with no gymnast at all due to the leaked image of Dick.

“The question really to ask is, has any young lady really shamed anyone?” asked Grant, via email. “Also, does the Federation want to send the message that despite talent, being ashamed of your body is the only way to represent the country at the olympics.

“We trust that the Federation will drop this matter and allow Thema to compete due her talent—as nothing appears to be shameful in her photo. Because if they do disqualify her, who will then represent the country—because obviously Marisa can not go either.

“Interestingly enough, neither young woman is wrong in celebrating their bodies.”

Grant’s other photograph, which she described as food for thought, showed the Canada-born gymnast in a Trinidad and Tobago jersey next to a Canada sign. In the caption, Dick stated: “I may be Trinidadian out on the floor but I’m still Canadian at heart.”

Photo: An Instagram snap of Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick. (Courtesy Melissa Grant)
Photo: An Instagram snap of Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick.
(Courtesy Melissa Grant)

Grant said she was annoyed by Dick’s split loyalties.

“It really is a sore spot when Marisa is claiming her Canadian Citizenship despite being funded by the TT Government,” said Grant, “just some food for thought.”

Grant did not say whether she was responsible for the original release of Dick’s topless photo this morning. And she did not respond to Wired868’s enquiry on that matter by the time of publication.

However, it has, arguably, transformed an exciting period for Trinidad and Tobago gymnastics into a soap opera.

There was widespread support for Williams yesterday, as the TTGF met to consider “action” against the former Tots and Tumblers and St Joseph’s Convent (Port of Spain) athlete.

The local body had installed a clause in its new contract with the two girls, which required them to swear that: “I am a representative of TTFG and must conduct myself in a manner that upholds the name, reputation and goodwill of TTGF… As such, my conduct publicly known and not publicly known must not reflect poorly upon or bring discredit to TTGF, its other athletes, its coaches or its events and programs.

“My conduct extends beyond actions on the field of play, including but not limited to

actions/posting/images disseminated in the public domain.”

Williams had pointed out that her own photograph was taken in February 2015 and was meant to be artistic. It was removed from her Instagram account—which is private—within 24 hours after her American coach, John Geddert, voiced concerns.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams. Williams said she left this photo up for just one day before removing it in February 2015. It was circulated on Tuesday 24 February 2016 by "Georgette Heinz." (Courtesy Georgette Heinz)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams.
Williams said she left this photo up for just one day before removing it in February 2015.
It was circulated on Tuesday 24 February 2016 by “Georgette Heinz.”
(Courtesy Georgette Heinz)

“Georgette Heinz” either held on to a screen shot of the image or attained it and released it to the media, a year later.

The TTGF, which is headed by president David Marquez, allegedly decided yesterday evening to send Williams before its disciplinary committee to answer questions on her image.

Before the TTGF could release its decision, though, its executive members received a topless image of Dick this morning. Dick’s topless photograph was allegedly taken in February 2016.

Wired868 tried unsuccessfully to contact Dick.

“We made a decision (on Williams) but we don’t want to disclose it yet,” Peters Charles told Wired868, earlier today. “A photograph came to my phone before 10 am today and, based on that, I don’t think it would be prudent of us to send out a press release which pronounces on one person and not the other.

“So we have to schedule a second meeting and then send a comprehensive release dealing with both situations.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams performs a handstand at John Geddert's Twisters Gymnastics Club in Michigan. (Courtesy Thema Williams)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams performs a handstand at John Geddert’s Twisters Gymnastics Club in Michigan.
(Courtesy Thema Williams)

The eventual decision was that both athletes will face the same fate.

Once all goes well at April’s Test Event, Trinidad and Tobago should have its first ever artistic gymnastic participant at an Olympic Games.

Williams is in pole position for that honour while Dick will deputise in case of an emergency.

It is still uncertain what impact—if any—the leaked photographs would have on either’s dreams of Olympic glory.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams.

(Melissa Grant email)

In an interesting turn of events, while the TT Gymnastics Federation is considering banning Thema Williams over an email from a “Concerned Parent” claiming she has shammed the Federation and the country for posting a “nude” (Photo attached, which a) is not nude and b) was posted for black awareness advocacy). Here, we have her potential replacement Marisa Dick, posting a somewhat more revealing photo to SnapChat celebrating her fifth placement at an event.

The question really to ask is, has any young lady really shamed anyone? Also, does the Federation want to send the message that despite talent, being ashamed of your body is the only way to represent the country at the olympics.

We trust that the federation will drop this matter and allow Thema to compete due her talent—as nothing appears to be shameful in her photo, because if they do disqualify her, who will then represent the country—because obviously Marisa can not go either. Interestingly enough, neither young woman is wrong in celebrating their bodies.

Hopefully good sense prevails.

A concerned Parent ~ And Citizen.

PS: It really is a sore spot when Marisa is claiming her Canadian citizenship despite being funded by the TT Government—just some food for thought.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick. (Courtesy Sport Archives TT)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick.
(Courtesy Sport Archives TT)

Editor’s Note: Wired868 used Thema Williams’ topless photograph with her permission, so as to demonstrate its relative tameness.

We also believe that Marisa Dick’s photograph is not lewd and the athlete will be better off by readers making their own minds up, rather than using their imagination to speculate—especially as Williams’ photo has been used.

Wired868 has been unable to make contact with Dick so far but will be eventually guided by her as to whether that photograph remains on our website.

Wired868 will also like to make it clear that we support the right of persons born to Trinidad and Tobago parent(s) outside of our borders to represent our country and contribute to our success in every field, including sport.

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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205 comments

  1. I can muster no better response than a big long suck teeth.

  2. First thought that came to my mind Teflon Shawn when this whole debacle started. High colour with foreign accent vs darker hue with Trini accent

  3. ^^^ exactly….waz d point… now… I saw a comment heading down a certain road in terms of profiling… but then again… I’m leaning towards it eh… but firstly… why the Gymnastics Association taking this issue up?… what they trying to prove?…

  4. This is absolutely retarded by this committee. Ppl wear less for carnival. They working hard to represent our country and this is how they want yo react to leaked pics.

  5. “Left d girls them nah”. Persons who.forward that real hating.

  6. What the hell is going on? This seems to be some sort of conspiracy, but to what end?

  7. Because they are living in a 7th century bubble Renee.

  8. Because they are living in a 7th century bubble Renee.

  9. Someone should give Common Sense a call… it’s about time he intervened!!

  10. Ok that’s it ……so how’s the weather

  11. Serena Williams will be representing the US in Rio. Someone needs to tell the TTGF that we are in the 21st century and this nonsense won’t be tolerated.

  12. I wonder if “ms Heinz ” is morally outraged by this pic too?

  13. Making mountains out of (two pairs of) molehills. Like that ‘Disciplinary Committee’ needs to justify its existence. These young women are phenomenal athletes, get behind them or get out of their way. This rubbish infantilizes them and wastes their time. And mine.

  14. Why are these pics and issue again? Unless you are part of a religious organization or one in which your qualifications and/ or performance are secondary to the image set forth by a committee then I do not get it. How do these images do harm to anyone really?

  15. And the Game of Thrones Saga Continues!!!

  16. Damm I think we see more breast pictures in national geographic magazine lol

  17. I’m now very curious as to what the TTGF’s verdict was on Thema, and what went through their minds, when Marisa’s pic surfaced, which was taken this month. Whomever, this “Heinz” person is, what is their real motives for searching out these pics, and posting them??? It now seems that their attack is to discredit the TTGF as a whole, and not just directed to Thema.

  18. Someone screenshot her snapchat story? Lol

  19. Lasana Has either of the two ‘Heinz’ ladies presented themselves to the TTGF? Natural Justice would dictate that a person know their accuser. This is not a case of whistle blowing! If you feel strongly enough about something come out openly and say it. This in my view has nothing to do with the sport and nothing to do with wanting what is best for the sport or these young women in particular and it is an attempt to malign the characters of these two athletes. What is worse in my view however is that TTGF missed these pics when they were first posted (very publicly) and is now responding to an outcry from a ghost accuser. So the real question in my mind is whether or not the TTGF in fact knows the source of the of the pics and have been asked to jump through hoops to accommodate this person or persons. This really makes very little sense.

  20. Did these girls post the pictures on the Committee’s webpage? Were they wearing offcial TnT uniform pants or was this done on the training premises or ……???? I am trying to understand why they need to be ‘disciplined’!

  21. Oh gosh… why these people don’t stop their shit????? Those photos are the furthest thing from vulgar. This is a bloody sport where girls flip around in god damn spandex. This is so annoying now. I hope Thema kills it in Rio… cause that whole gymnastic fraternity on shit. And the board is very much encouraging the shit. What the ass they need to meet on???? Look eh!

  22. Next week is March and the test event is in April. Delaying a decision really isn’t in the athletes’ interest.

  23. As a former executive member of an NSO, I can see how both these pictures would be an issue for the Association. However, of greater concern to me is the apparent concerted effort to get Ms. Dick the Olympic qualifying spot over Ms. Williams- even possibly by members of said association (remembering the Minister had to get involved some time ago). Both showed poor judgement, and should be reprimanded- not necessarily for taking the photos (the parents should deal with that), but for posting them on social media- which makes it an issue for the association.

  24. the picture is not lewd nor is she exposing her breasts ……a dam carnival top can show more…..what a waste of time.

  25. Its excellent PR internationallythough watch and see lol

  26. Allyuh really idle in this country yes.

  27. This looks like a case of tit for tit…ah mean tat. Lol

  28. Huh? Low achiever trying to get een ….

  29. listen I did not want to go down that road but when it comes to brass tacks that is exactly what i thought when this whole debacle started. My attitude is Thema wiped the floor with the other athlete in scotland beting her by miles and by right she should be the first choice Talk done

  30. Ah! I learned a new label. When I use it, though, a little voice inside me will always be adding captions to say, “a setta edited expletives”

  31. So if these girls got photographed with skimpy carnival costumes would they be subjected to the same selective morality!!!

  32. Lawd, the struggle is real for women yes

  33. That’s 2016 thinking. The people behind this sabotage are more in the Tanyia Harding 1990’s frame of mind…. And possibly operating on a pre-emancipation premise that only certain melanin-challenged folk can participate in Gymnastics….

  34. These people real full of fuckery.

  35. Patricia Worrell lol that’s what we call them in criminology lol

  36. Is that what we call them? *bites tongue*

  37. The world watched, last year, as Ms. America apologised to Vanessa Williams. Too many moral entrepreneurs in T&T!

  38. Not in Trinidad, Renee! A whole different set of values and attitudes in play here.

  39. well now that there are two pics – they technically cancel out each other and the TTGF should now make the decision based on the rules – who is the higher ranked athlete and that one should be the choice. Easy Peasy.

  40. I thought Vanessa Williams’ extraordinary success after being dethroned by Miss America dealt with that topless photo non-issue.

  41. I do not see either pic as a mistake or a shame necessarily. Haunt them? Thema in particular should be CELEBRATED for her pics.

  42. Conspiracy? But maybe this is a conversation we need to have. Seems obvious enough but maybe u should just be like Taylor Swift when there was a spate of leaked nude photos recently and ppl claimed they had of her. Her response-haha-ain’t got none. It might seem a good idea or even if it’s a mistake, but somewhere down the road, it might come back to haunt you. We live in the age of technology-mistakes are not as easily forgotten-manage ur brand-and ur reputation.

  43. So this apparently isn’t an issue of race as some shallow minded folks suggested. But there’s still a vindictive clown involved. That much we know.