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Is silence a sound? Thema’s dad gives his take on the ongoing gymnastics scandal

The following letter was written by Leon Williams, the father of Trinidad and Tobago national gymnast, Thema Williams:

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago international gymnast Thema Williams. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago international gymnast Thema Williams.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

I remember, as a young boy watching Sesame Street, (seeing) a child ask an adult: “Is silence a sound?”

The adult paused for a moment and then answered, “I don’t know.” I would like to think from that answer that he may have meant: “Sometimes it is.”

I want to draw from that answer of uncertainty (the example of the TTGF) where weeks have passed and still there has been no response from them…

Where they have been very silent on the issue since Marisa Dick’s photo appeared on social media, mere hours before the Federation was about to make a pronouncement on Thema’s fate…

Where they have recoiled and, to this day, they have remained so silent it is deafening. I want to believe that their silence in this case is a sound.

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 SPORTT)
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 SPORTT)

So adults and children, listen up, it is a sound of incompetence. It is a sound of unfairness, it is a sound of disbelief, embarrassment, biases, mischievousness.

That, adults and children, is the sound one makes when the spotlight has been shone on their character (or lack thereof) and modus operandi in running this organisation.

I would hope that whatever decision they make—even though legally there is only one they can make—that none of these bureaucrats will be accompanying the delegated athletes to Rio, especially Thema.

I would be very worried and concerned after seeing what played out after Thema’s photo mischievously surfaced—more than a year after it was first taken and was removed in less than twenty-four hours on the advice of her coach.

Might I remind readers, this picture fell outside of the document that was signed by Thema in January 2016.

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)

As I was saying, my concern is for Thema’s fitness (mental/emotional) having to be in such close quarters with the same people whose initial decision may have jeopardised the representation of T&T, not Canada, in the Test Event in Rio.

Silence is also the sound of Ms Georgette Heinz, who claimed to be a concerned and outraged parent of a child (not named) and who is not known to the fraternity, who has not expressed her concern and outrage when Marisa Dick’s photo surfaced.

This photo, readers, was taken February 2015, after the aforementioned document would have been signed.

My question is, where is “Ms Georgette Heinz” now?

As far as Thema’s parents, grandparents, siblings and her family of supporters goes, our silence is the sound of being resolute in the belief that the Federation has brought shame to T&T Gymnastics.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation second vice president and former president Ricardo Lue Shue (left) shakes hands with SPORTT Company official Anthony Creed. (Courtesy SPORTT)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation second vice president and former president Ricardo Lue Shue (left) shakes hands with SPORTT Company official Anthony Creed.
(Courtesy SPORTT)

And now it is time we hear the sound of feet shuffling out of office, giving way for knowledgeable and competent people to take the helm and take gymnastics out of the dark ages.

Leon Williams, concerned father.

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17 comments

  1. Leave her alone!! Gosh it’s time to move on!!

  2. Hannibal Najjar

    Is silence a sound? Absolutely! It is in silence where we hear best… stop and listen to and you’d hear all that you never heard before.

  3. Pure CLASS Mr. Williams!

  4. Eloquently said, sir.

  5. Let’s watch the medical clearance process.. smh

  6. Thema triumphs: TTGF announces Thema Williams as its choice for Rio 2016 Olympics Test Event
    http://wired868.com/2016/03/15/thema-triumphs-ttgf-announces-choice-for-olympics-test-event/

  7. Tv6 had no such report , it’s still unresolved

  8. The words of a father and a gentleman. So very profound. Your daughter has the nations support.

  9. I totally understand Mr Williams’ concerns for his daughter. I hope a family member will be able to accompany her as well

  10. Let us hope good sense prevails

  11. A Father’s Love. My Intelligent Lawyer Friends Are Always Closeby…#LetGodContinue2GiveThemStrength!!!