Home / Rio 2016 / Thema, Marisa still in limbo; Gymnastics Federation vow to meet soon but no date set

Thema, Marisa still in limbo; Gymnastics Federation vow to meet soon but no date set

Two weeks after the Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation (TTGF) referred its two star athletes to a disciplinary committee, Thema Williams and Marisa Dick remain unsure about what happens next, as the local sporting body is yet to set a hearing date.

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)

Wired868 confirmed yesterday that the TTGF, which comprises of voluntary officials, has not yet a date for its disciplinary meeting, although the board is adamant that it will happen this week.

The disciplinary committee, according to TTGF general secretary Elicia Peters Charles, will consist of seven people with just two members from outside the fraternity: president David Marquez, general secretary Peters Charles, a representative for the registered gymnastics clubs, a representative for the coaching body, one trustee, a legal representative and a mediator.

At stake, potentially, is a spot at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Test Event in April.

On 23 February 2016, an anonymous poster named “Georgette Heinz” sent a topless photo of Williams to the Gymnastics Federation, the local gymnastics fraternity and the media, which the TTGF felt violated its rules for good conduct.

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

Williams told Wired868 that the shot was posted on and removed from her Instagram account almost a year before she signed a TTGF contract in which she agreed to a clause about good behaviour by the local body.

Within 48 hours, the TTGF executive committee agreed on a punishment for Williams. But, before that decision could be relayed to the national gymnast and the media, two more photographs were dispatched on her alternate, Dick—this time by a “Kamara Heinz” and “Melissa Grant.

In one photo, Dick was also topless while, in the other, she described herself as “Canadian at heart.”

Dick would replace Williams if the latter gymnast is ruled out of the Rio meet.

“We made a decision (on Williams) but we don’t want to disclose it yet,” Peters Charles told Wired868, two weeks ago. “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 Marisa Dick performs at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. Dick was born in Canada to a Trinidadian mother, Hannifer. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick performs at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
Dick was born in Canada to a Trinidadian mother, Hannifer.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

But, while the initial decision on Williams was done in two days, it has taken over two weeks so far for a joint verdict on the two gymnasts.

Williams confirmed to Wired868 yesterday that she has not heard from the TTGF about the date of the meeting. However, she said it has not affected her preparation.

The former Tots and Tumblers gymnast and St Joseph’s Convent (Port of Spain) student, who is now based in Michigan, trains for 23 hours per week with United States coach John Geddert.

Wired868 tried unsuccessfully to reach Dick for comment while the TTGF promised to make a statement when an update was ready.

The TTGF stated last week that, if necessary, it can replace Williams and Dick and send an unidentified third gymnast to the Rio Olympic Games Test Event in April.

Photo: Well known Trinidad and Tobago personalities Nikki Crosby, Fay-Ann Lyons Alvarez, Penelope Spencer, Maylee Attin-Johnson, DJ Dani, Crystal Cunningham and Sophie KMW pose topless in support of Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams. (Copyright Gary Jordan)
Photo: Well known Trinidad and Tobago personalities Nikki Crosby, Fay-Ann Lyons Alvarez, Penelope Spencer, Maylee Attin-Johnson, DJ Dani, Crystal Cunningham and Sophie KMW pose topless in support of Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams.
(Copyright Gary Jordan)

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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47 comments

  1. Square pegs in round holes as usual.

  2. They cannot be so small minded well u never know its all politics

  3. This is a non-issue, shame on ttgf for not declaring that outright

  4. Or think it is some kind of pole dancing. I know this is serious but those people could really do anything and justify it, if only to themselves. What a bunch of creeps.

  5. Please don’t say “limbo” otherwise those foolish people who make up the Gymnastics Federation might think they starting to dance topless in the night clubs trying to get under a bar and charge them for that too.

  6. Get rid of the whole damn lot of them , let the girls continue to build their points and represent their country. Way too much bloody red tape with these clowns. To the Minister of Sports, time to act is now, even if your ministry has to take the bull by the horns. The country and athletes will be better off for it.

  7. ? ‘failure’….1st World wannabes”?

  8. Totally unacceptable. What? they have ppl coming from Mars that they have to wait on? Some of These sporting administrators only think about themselves and not the athletes. Only what they can benefit and not the well being of the athletes. What ever is holding back this meeting should be priority for them so that this nonsense can be dealt with. Total mismanagement. Dam.

  9. They are playing the fool with the future of the youths!!

  10. This is unacceptable! Utter nonsense!!

  11. Williams Dick still in limbo because Gymnastics Federation wants two meat this weak.

  12. The gymnastic federation is playing the fool!!!

  13. In the article linked below the author states that Marissa Dick’s coach was arrested by Caribbean Airlines in June 2015, and that it was overlooked by the Gymnastics Federation.

    https://www.guardian.co.tt/sport/2016-03-03/gymnastic-federation-falls-beam#

    Does anyone here know if that is an actual fact or just a rumour? And what the circumstances surrounding that were? Who was the coach and why he/she was arrested?

    Just wondering.

  14. Some administrators are ridiculous. ..trying to find that word…you know how difficult it must be at this stage for their preparation. ..gosh mentally you’ll are stifling the ladies…get the meeting over and done with…

  15. Lasana Liburd will block me if i givey real thoughts on this but it shows both classism and racism is alive and well in trinidad bc this is the easest ruling an disclipinary committe will ever have to rule on in the history of disciplinary committees bc no breach in discipline have occurred

  16. I’m not interested in the TTGF disciplinary meeting because the entire scenario was a farce. These ‘adults’ who are charged with the responsibility of making sound TTGF decisions should have realized it was a deliberate attempt to ‘dismount’ Thema Williams whose picture incident occurred a year plus ago and was online for less than 24 hrs (she was counseled by her coach on the matter) and the new contract which addresses such incidents was agreed to long after the posting of her picture whereas Marisa’s is after the contract. TTGF needs to wake up and stop hurting our chances to medal in gymnastics.

  17. We have to thank the person who released Marisa’s pic. It’s clear the TTGF were set to rule in Marisa’s favour but they were stumped. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but this ‘wrong’, prevented a bigger ‘wrong’ from happening two weeks ago.

  18. What about making a decision to get rid of the Federation?

  19. Why is Marisa in limbo? She wasn’t chosen. Besides, if they disqualify Thema, there is no rationale for replacing her with Marisa. She was more “exposed” than Thema.

  20. We clearly don’t deserve anything good ….. they’re going to meet “this week”, what day and time is that?

  21. No way – she should stick to her guns a right thing is a right thing.

  22. Thelma should say “f#@k all yuh yes, me eh wah represent T&T again.”

  23. What they waiting on… when or can the organizing committee intervene.