Home / Rio 2016 / Dicks dispute Rio trip timeline; ‘new evidence’ in unfolding gymnastics saga

Dicks dispute Rio trip timeline; ‘new evidence’ in unfolding gymnastics saga

Trinidad and Tobago international gymnast Marisa Dick and her mother, Hannifer Dick, are now refuting information published in an Edmonton Journal article, which claimed that the athlete began her trip to Rio de Janeiro at 9 pm (Alberta time) on Friday April 15.

Dick (H) said today that the duo actually began their journey at 11 pm instead.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick competes on the floor exercise in the women's artistic gymnastics team event at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada on 12 July 2015. (Copyright AFP 2016/Kevin Van Paassen)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick competes on the floor exercise in the women’s artistic gymnastics team event at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada on 12 July 2015.
(Copyright AFP 2016/Kevin Van Paassen)

“We were at Fort McMurray at the competition gym and when we got back to the house (of our host) at 10.30 pm,” Dick (H) told Wired868, “we got a call saying there was a possibility that she would be going to the olympics. And I said we would not be going anywhere until we knew for sure.

“And at about 10.49, I got the second phone call saying that this is definitely happening so pack your bags.”

The timeline is significant. The new proposed departure time of 11 pm from Fort McMurray, Alberta equates to 1 am in Trinidad and Tobago and 2 am in Brazil.

Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation (TTGF) president David Marquez informed Thema Williams’ coach, John Geddert, that the local body had decided to replace his athlete with her alternate, Dick, at 12.27 am on Saturday morning, which was 10.27 pm in Edmonton and 1.27 am in Rio.

Dick (H) said she and her daughter first heard from the TTGF approximately three minutes after Marquez gave Geddert the bad news.

The initial timeline given by the Journal would have meant that the TTGF gave the Dicks the green light to head to Rio about an hour and a half before they officially axed Williams.

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)

Dick (H) provided Wired868 with a receipt for fuel and coffee on 2nd Street, Wandering River, Alberta at 11.53 pm (Alberta time) on April 15, which she felt confirmed her story.

Google Maps calculates the distance between the Norfort gym at Fort McMurray and 2nd Street, Wandering River as 204 km and gave the drive time without traffic as 1 hour and 50 minutes. Dick (H) said she shaved an entire hour off the Google drive time and completed that stretch in just 53 minutes.

“I was flying so I wont be surprised if, when I get back, I have a photo radar ticket,” said Dick (H).

However, if the Dicks left at 9 pm, it would mean she was slower than the estimated Google drive time to the Wandering River gas station by about an hour.

An article in Canada’s Globe and Mail referred to the stretch of highway between Fort McMurray and Wandering River as “Suicide 63”, “Highway of Death” and “Hell’s Highway.”

Statistics showed 2,457 accidents along the route, between 2002 to 2010, with 66 fatalities. Just 5.6 percent of drivers had consumed alcohol and 28.9 percent were traveling at an unsafe speed.

Photo: Canadian mourners protest at the site of a fatal accident on Highway 63. (Copyright Edmonton Journal)
Photo: Canadian mourners protest at the site of a fatal accident on Highway 63.
(Copyright Edmonton Journal)

And, according to “Coalition for a safer 63/881”, 40 percent of accidents on Highway 63 involve wildlife.

So, on April 15, was Dick (H) speeding along the highway, as she tried to ensure that her daughter, Marisa, got a shot at an Olympic spot? Or was she driving slowly, out of respect for the fierce reputation of the highway?

Journal editor Dan Barnes could not be of much help. He confirmed Dick’s coach, Anita Pelletier, told him on Monday that the teenager left for Rio at 9 pm on Friday April 15. And Pelletier would know since Marisa called her to ask if she could join her in Rio—the Canadian, who was one of Marisa’s two coaches, could not go since she would have needed a visa.

However, Barnes told Wired868 that Pelletier emailed him last night, on April 21, and reversed her initial statement. After three days, Pelletier said she miscalculated the Dicks departure time by two whole hours. And, instead, she said they actually left for Rio at 11 pm (Alberta time).

The tale changed too.

A gymnastics insider initially said the Dicks were at the Alberta Provincial competition when they got the remarkable news.

“I’ve never had a gymnast called on a moment’s notice from one meet to go compete at another meet,” Pelletier told the Journal, “let alone halfway across the world.”

Photo: Hannifer Dick's gas receipt on 14 April 2016. The 2nd Street station in Wandering River was 204 km away from the Fort McMurray meet that the Dicks attending that day. (Courtesy Hannifer Dick)
Photo: Hannifer Dick’s gas receipt on 14 April 2016.
The 2nd Street station in Wandering River was 204 km away from the Fort McMurray meet that the Dicks attending that day.
(Courtesy Hannifer Dick)

After questions were raised about the timeline of Dick’s dash, the gymnastics source explained that they did not leave the gym until 11 pm.

However, the final event at the Alberta Provincial ended at 9 pm on April 17 and Marisa was due to compete on the following morning at 8 am. So why would the Dicks still be there at 11 pm?

At I95.5 FM this evening, Marisa reiterated that the call to head to Rio came from TTGF assistant treasurer. Donna Lue Shue at around 10.30 pm (Alberta time).

“I was at a competition at Fort McMurray,” Marisa told radio host Andre Baptiste, about the TTGF call.

However, Dick (H) told Wired868 they were not at the meet at all but at the home of their host when Marquez’s call came. It was not necessarily a contradiction. But it did not clear things up beyond a shadow of a doubt either.

The elder Dick lamented the negativity around Trinidad and Tobago’s gymnastics in recent months.

“Right from the World Championships to now, it has been very sad because two beautiful girls have been very affected by the media,” said Dick (H). “As a parent all you want to do is protect your children… A lot of people don’t know the actual facts.”

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)

She shared photographs of her daughter and Williams sightseeing in Rio, last week, and insisted that there was no animosity between the pair.

But was is the media—rather than the TTGF—that was responsible for the ongoing gymnastics scandal?

Former TTGF coaching board representative Dale Ali, who resigned yesterday in protest against the board’s actions, claimed the local gymnastics body might have hurt Dick more than Williams.

“The whole country would have been celebrating (Trinidad and Tobago getting a gymnastics spot in the Olympics) but (the TTGF) destroyed that,” Ali told Wired868, “and you mashed up Marisa more than Thema. The country hates Marisa and it is not her fault. She is a pawn.

“Of course she wants to go to the Olympics and she wants to beat Thema. You are fighting for your spot. But that is healthy and it is the same in every gymnastics team in the world.

“So Marisa is not to blame. If anything, John (Geddert) opened the door for them (with his training report that criticised Williams’ training performance on Friday).”

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)

But Dick (H) refused to assign any blame to the local gymnastics body.

“I think (the TTGF) has always tried to be fair as far as I can see,” said Dick (H). “We are now at a level where both girls are known internationally and there is (a third gymnast) Khazia (Hislop) who is also very strong.

“Everybody learns as we go along.”

Dick (H) was six years old when she migrated to Canada with her parents and siblings. Her father, John Mohammed, was a draughtsman. The Mohammeds landed in Toronto before they moved to Ontario, Montreal and then Alberta.

Hannifer first fell in love with gymnastics during the Montreal 1976 Olympics when she watched Romanian gymnast Nadia Elena Comăneci win three individual gold medals. At 13, she started doing gymnastics at elementary school in Alberta.

When Marisa was born, the second of her two children, Dick (H) took her to Parent and Tot gymnastics in Canada when she was just two years old.

Marisa was 14 when her mother decided to have her represent Trinidad and Tobago—a country she had visited just once before.

Photo: Tobago Heritage Dance Performers strut their stuff at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet during the 2015 Legends Football tournament. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Tobago Heritage Dance Performers strut their stuff at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet during the 2015 Legends Football tournament.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“The (TTGF) president was Ricardo Lue Shue and we went online and found him,” said Dick (H). “We sent Marisa’s video and we were very fortunate that they decided to take a closer look at us… It turned out to be the best thing ever.”

At yesterday’s TTGF press conference, Marisa shared her excitement about securing a spot at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

“I was really proud that Trinidad is going to be represented, whether it was myself or Thema,” said Marisa. “It is just that gymnastics is a growing sport in Trinidad and Tobago and the Olympics is the biggest thing…

“Trinidad will be represented in the Olympics. It is just really exciting.”

But what about Williams and the controversy about how she was removed so Marisa could compete?

Dick (H) did not want to say much about that but suggested that she was satisfied with the procedure used.

“I don’t know anything about that,” said Dick (H). “There is a lawyer (Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj) and any of those legal questions has to go through that way. I wasn’t privy to any of that information.

“To me, I would think they followed proper procedure and tried to take care of everyone.”

Photo: TTOC president Brian Lewis (right) and NAAA president Ephraim Serrette. (Courtesy NAAA/LoopTT)
Photo: TTOC president Brian Lewis (right) and NAAA president Ephraim Serrette.
(Courtesy NAAA/LoopTT)

The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) will have the final say on whether Marisa goes on to the Rio Olympics. Dick (H) bristled at the mention of the TTOC.

“If you take that Olympic place away, it hurts the programme,” said Dick (H). “I don’t know what that will do to us in the eyes of the world.

“Everybody is watching us because of what happened.”

Dick (H) has asked her daughter to avoid social media, although she made reference to mischievous plays on their surname rather than threats of violence.

“I told her to stay off (the social media) because I don’t want this hurting her,” said Dick (H). “It is painting a bad light for everyone here. They are taking something that was so positive…

“I don’t know who the people are that are making jokes of her last name. Her special move is not a ‘Dick Mount’. It is called ‘the Marisa Dick’…

“You should never ever hurt children. When you get to my age you know how to shrug stuff off but  that comes with maturity and they are just getting started. All of this has been hard on Marisa.”

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

Dick (H) urged the public to work with the TTGF.

“Don’t give up on the Federation because everything has a way of working out,” she said. “Stay strong behind the three girls—and I’m counting Khazia in the US. If there is an opportunity for the three of them to compete as a team that would be amazing.”

Marisa insisted that she was thrilled to represent Trinidad and Tobago and looked forward to show off a new mount at the Olympics.

“That is my biggest goal right now, to get that other skill named after me at the Olympics,” Marisa told I95.5 FM.

There was a robust questions and answers segment on I95.5FM.

One caller asked why, if the TTGF was in constant contact with head of delegation Nicole Fuentes, did nobody ask Fuentes to get Williams’ coach, Geddert, on the phone immediately before they made the critical decision?

Neither TTGF general secretary Elicia Peters Charles nor Lue Shue could answer.

Another caller asked about Marisa’s Instagram post, which said: “I may be a Trinidadian out on the floor but I’m still Canadian at heart.”

Photo: An old Instagram post by Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick. (Courtesy Melissa Grant)
Photo: An old Instagram post by Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick.
(Courtesy Melissa Grant)

Marisa said her words were taken out of context, although she admitted that she regretted the way she said it.

“Obviously when you say things, you don’t expect the entire world to pick apart what you say,” said Marisa. “I think people are taking what they want from that. If I didn’t want to compete for Trinidad and I wasn’t passionate about it, I wouldn’t be here.

“My results have proven that I do want to compete for Trinidad.”

And what about the fact that Marisa was allowed to represent Trinidad and Tobago with dislocated ribs at the Glasgow 2015 World Championships while the TTGF insisted on removing Williams from the Rio Test event because of a sore ankle?

“That was her call back in Scotland,” said TTGF second vice president Ricardo Lue Shue, who acted as stand-in coach for Marisa at the Olympic Test event.

“I knew there was two of us there so,” said Marisa, about the World Championship, “so I knew, even if I fell, Thema was there to do the job.”

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

Another caller wanted to know why Marisa was allowed to make the call to perform with an injury at the World Games whereas Williams did not get the same opportunity in Rio.

She was cut off, as the I95.5 FM hosts suggested that question was already adequately answered.

Someone else asked whether there was financial impropriety at the TTGF, as evidenced by a lack of financial audits over the last eight years.

“We used to do audits until they stopped that practice about eight years ago,” said Lue Shue, who was president for those eight years before becoming vice-president in 2015. “We are not a bank.”

Peters-Charles contradicted her fellow board member and former president.

“We do audits every year,” said the TTGF general secretary. “Montgomery Accountants are our auditors.”

Another caller asked whether the TTGF board members felt the need to resign, due to their handling of the Olympic qualifying situation.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation second vice president and former president Ricardo Lue Shue (left) shakes hands with SPORTT Company official Anthony Creed. Lue Shue will act as Marisa Dick's coach in Brazil. (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.
Lue Shue will act as Marisa Dick’s coach in Brazil.
(Courtesy SPORTT)

“I think we have a lot to accomplish still,” said Lue Shue. “(But) we have an AGM coming up.”

Ali, who is the president of the Olympia Gymnastics Club, insisted that the TTGF board has no fear of AGMs or elections.

“If you call for a fresh elections now, they will still be there,” Ali told Wired868. “There is a 95 percent chance that everyone will end back in the same position. The public needs to understand that.

“The constitution says once you have 10 members and a constitution you have a club; and the president’s interpretation of the constitution is final. And schools count as full clubs too, so the federation can start a program in any school and register them as a club.

“Then what happened before is they were allowed to vote by proxy and the same board members would act as presiding officers and come in and say they have such and such amount of proxy votes and we would not even get to see them.

“That was only changed in the constitution this year.”

Photo: Sport Minister Darryl Smith (centre) meets with TTGF president David Marquez and his executive committee in 2015. (Courtesy Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs)
Photo: Sport Minister Darryl Smith (centre) meets with TTGF president David Marquez and his executive committee in 2015.
(Courtesy Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs)

Ali said the TTGF had mediation with attorney Elton Prescott SC, who pointed to several things that needed to be changed in the constitution and recommended a fresh start with an interim committee. But the board ignored the suggestions.

He said several clubs including Olympia and Tots and Tumblers boycotted in an attempt to force change last year. But he claimed it did not faze them in the least, as they put on a supposedly watered down competition.

“They have nothing to lose,” said Ali. “They don’t do gymnastics for a living. They are not stakeholders. They tell you all the time that this is a voluntary position and we say to them that this is our livelihood…

“They don’t care about local gymnastics. There are 500 athletes who are training hard just like Marisa and Thema. But there is nothing being done for them.”

Photo: United States head coach John Geddert (right) hugs gymnast Gabrielle Douglas at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Geddert trains Trinidad and Tobago gymnast, Thema Williams, at his gym in Michigan. (Courtesy Desert News)
Photo: United States head coach John Geddert (right) hugs gymnast Gabrielle Douglas at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Geddert trains Trinidad and Tobago gymnast, Thema Williams, at his gym in Michigan.
(Courtesy Desert News)

Ali suggested that Geddert should bear responsibility for providing the TTGF with a training report that it could exploit.

“John is supposed to know the lingo of these people and how they think,” said Ali. “All elite athletes are injured. Ninety-nine percent of my gymnasts are injured because muscles tear all the time and people ice every day.

“It was not an injury like she fell or so. They made it sound different and worse than it was. But John should have known how these people think.

“You don’t put words like disaster in your report. You just gave them ammunition. But what he reported is normal.”

Peters-Charles was defiant and unrepentant.

“We did what we had to do and I have no regrets,” said the TTGF general secretary. “We did not have any ulterior motives. We did what we had to do.”

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)

Through it all, Marisa remained upbeat and optimistic and vowed not to be dismayed by the criticism or the questioning of her love for the “Red, Black and White.”

“I am trying to bring light to Trinidad and Tobago gymnastics and it is tough to hear people say you should not be competing for us,” Marisa told I95.5 FM. “But I just have to remember why I came here since the beginning…”

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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178 comments

  1. This thing stinks to high heaven.

  2. In this information age you are hearing all the underhanded acts the TTGF used so that you dick was selected and you think their process was fair. Shame on you. You are not qualify to represent sweet TnT.

  3. Pelf is nothing to enjoy. Receiving stolen goods is a crime.

  4. Steups I cant with the dicks!!!!

  5. I find its about time we let this go because if we keep fighting it no one will represent us in gymnastics and they don’t look like they about to reverse any decisions made.

  6. Check for accident reports on the highway during her flight. Check to see if a helicopter was used.

  7. We’ve been hearing about Thema Williams since she was about seven or eight…..she’s represented this country with honor for years….it’s an insult and disrespect to her to be treated like a dog by the ttgf just bcuz someone comes along with a lighter complexion and an American accent….shame on u ttgf…God don’t sleep

  8. Ah ha tanka Lanka..Lanka it seems the vice president tapping somebody……personal coach huh???

  9. Interesting how the coach Anita retracted her statement that they left at 9pm then changed it to 11pm as soon as the sht hit the fan here. And she was the same coach and acting as the Head of Delegation for TT in Scotland, who let Marisa compete with a dislocated rib at Worlds where Thema beat her. Maybe it wasn’t that bad though, maybe it was just an excuse for why Thema won. And Marisa’s other coach was arrested on a flight into Trinidad last year. Sounds like some interesting characters not just in the TTGF but in Canada coaching her. Will they be part of any investigation? They are all just changing their stories and lying. Who is paying for those Canada coaches – TT funding?

  10. Wayne Caesar Do you really feel that the board and the Dicks will ever put themselves in Thema’s position eh, because in our sweet country and Canada, America, and England the white folks always comes first and our black people will always be second class citizens in their eyes eh, and trust me when I say that this madness even takes place at the United Nations where I also experienced it first hand because I was also employed there for many years. Them really good yes

  11. The more I hear from, and, about this board, makes my belief stronger that they should be removed with immediate effect. (I know they can’t be because of procedures). I am asking the board and the Dicks to put themselves in Thema’s position. Just listening to them, they apparently believe that “THEY DESERVE A MEDAL”.

  12. And for those who think she is without blame. She says she never competed for canada…
    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10153555428139499&id=509744498

    What is this then?

    It’s the insult to my intelligence that Pisses me off.
    I don’t have to care about a person to know that right is right and wrong is wrong. They were wrong. I never met Thema, but I know that no human being deserves that kind of treatment. It’s bullying plain and simple and I will back her up forever…

  13. Dicks in….Williams out!!!

  14. And it seems that many of the accidents are caused by speeding or driving under the influence of the poison call alcohol the same like in our sweet country eh, so we really have something in common. Them really good yes.

  15. In our efforts to discredit and give credit, let us produce legitimate evidence. Incorrect evidence could be detrimental to all.. The Score Sheet show was from 2011. I would think an organized gymnast body would have their athletes selected and in training,since last year (2015). It is advisable that the TTGF check the Canadian gymnast website and take heed.

  16. Alyuh know what is amazing eh, the only time alyuh “Trinis” want to know about the financial audits/ accounting books, is when these corrupted people is finally exposed eh, imagine no financial audits in more than eight years as mentioned eh, this sounds like the same thing that was happening with the corrupted TTFA for maybe years while the corrupted Jack Warner and his cronies were getting rich very quietly until they all was exposed when my Soca Worries 13 players took them to court for their well deserve monies in 2006 eh, and the magistrate told them (The corrupted TTFA) that they must return to court with their accounting books and of course which they never did eh, because apparently they had none or just didn’t want to be exposed as to the millions of monies that has been passing thru the corrupted TTFA eh, for many years now well today the present president Mr. David John-williams I was told said that the financial audits will always be given to Mr. Live Wire Lasana Liburd so that we can see if the corrupted TTFA is always telling us the “TRUTH” that they are always strap for funds. Them really good yes.

  17. Where are the financial audits? How much money did Ms Dick receive for elite funding? How long has she had a T&T Passport. Who ordered five of our police officers to guard Ms Dick?

  18. How many people think if Marisa had a guaranteed spot on the Canadian team she would compete for Trinidad?

    How many people think if Chris Birchall had a guaranteed spot on the English team he would compete for Trinidad?

  19. Well here’s the tryout sheet that proves Dick did try out and did not make the cut. Check the timelines. ????. Lasana ah feel this can add credence to your comment above.

    News coming to light anonymously from a coach. The foreigners are following the story. And they are speaking up! Marisa and her mother and her Canadian coach are all involved and culpable.
    <

  20. My forehead is about to grow a new furrow ?

  21. The continuous adding of fragile blocks to an already unstable foundation will soon give way to a disaster. What is so appalling is that it seems that sporting bodies in Trinidad and to some extent the Caribbean (WICB) have persons at the helm who are more concerned to advancing their own selfish agendas than to the sport itself. My fear is that this bodes a sore disadvantage to the current and potential athletes as there seems to be no true organisations that are dedicated to seeking their interests.

  22. The holes in this story….

  23. I’m late but why in God’s name can’t they send them both? put an end to this BS

    • “Countries that finish 17th-24th in the qualification (CI) competition at the World Championships will have the right to send two individuals to the Test Event. Gymnasts from nations outside the top 24 teams, according to their individual classifications in the same qualifying competition, will have the right to send a single gymnast to the Test Event.”

    • cheers, so the BS continues

  24. Well well well….. and the plot thickens

  25. I was inboxed by someone who claimed to be from Fort McMurray (their Facebook profile seemed to confirm that) who wanted to make comment.
    This is an excerpt: … I was born and raised in Ft McMurray ( check my facebook timeline) i know that highway 63 , like the back of my hand…….it is a dangerous highway and not easy to FLY down it, one of the reason why is due to the FACT that on a FRIDAY night the traffic on this highway is congested and busy, shift workers leaving work for the weekend , heavy traffic is also due to the fact its the only hiway going in and out of mcmurray, because it is the heart of the Oilsands their is alot of big tractor trailers ect that are up and down the highway. Its called the highway of death for a reason you CANNOT speed on that highway with out risking you life, so i will go on record and say this is a bold face lie, another reason i can say that is , here its is , my child is a competitive gymnast (young man) our club was at that provincial championship we had gymnasts that were in the last session, it finished just before 9, there was NO PODIUM training after that , athletes are not allowed on competition floor once meet is completed, the only people left were volunteers cleaning the mats , it was CLOSED…
    (Obviously I cannot confirm this btw)

  26. A new controversy facing the T&T Gymnastics Federation: No financial audit in more than eight years? Insiders say they have been querying this for years but have not been given a proper explanation. TV6 News has obtained documents that appear to show that the federation, at its annual general meeting last year, tried to phase out financial audits. http://www.tv6tnt.com/sevenpm-news/New-Gymnastics-Federation-Controversy-376648131.html

  27. ..All this timeline business is nonsense. Williams was victimized by a biased board. Dick is the beneficiary of a Machiavellian plot to victimize Williams. All else is detail..

    • The only adjustment I’d state is that she is not a bystanding beneficiary. Her benefit was the PURPOSE of the victimisation, and I maintain that she and Mommy Dearest were entirely complicit in the whole affair.

  28. They moving like a previous govrrnment

  29. Wouldn’t phone records be more accurate than gas bills and a possible speeding ticket?

  30. Trying to win over the public…sorry damage has already been done…

  31. Dick don’t care about Trinidad and Tobago all she care is about herself. I say send no one!!!

  32. And as an aside. I hope this incident fuels some patriotism from Trinidad and Tobago’s public. Concerning sports we provide precious little support to our athletes but we love to bump our gums on social media.

    Majority of sporting events in this country the crowds are little. Too often hard working athletes giving their all for T&T perform in front of empty arenas….

    I remember vividly th 2006 campaign….most of the games stadium was half empty the public were crying down the team as no good. As soon as the tables turned everyone became a soca warrior…smmfh. I know because I go…countless football, cricket, national athletics championships, hampton games (imagine our olympic athletes often come here to perform for a stadium with sometimes as little as 1500 ppl) table tennis and netball games and salt.

    All this passion and anger is useless and a bunch of bandwaggonist talk if the next gymnastics championships there is only standing room

    Quarrelling about best for the athlete when you by your behaviour dont give a rat’s behind about the athlete is hollow as hell…

  33. All the people resigning now are a waste…they sat back for years while the lushues and marquez ran shit to the ground…But public glare and they are now taking principled decisions…gtfoh.

  34. The TTGF have created such a monster of a situation…Now all and sundry with a court case looming have to get their ducks in a row (which would be ramesh guru lawyer advice i am sure).

    This will create more anger…but from their side its the only logical thing to do. Stories hadda get straight.

    This is a lose lose situation and I agree with Lasana, Thema’s coach, Dave Ali etc…the comments against Marisa Dick specifically are pretty much uncalled for.

    John Geddert inadvertently dropped the ball…his words ring hollow to me. If Thema did flawless routines right after the six falls why did he say nothing about it?

    Its normal in a report to only speak of the negative things your athlete did and nothing positive?

    And him saying the TTGF questioned an independent doctor was also hogwash since that doctor is on the school he owns payroll.

    Marquez, Lushue et all are a bunch of snakes. International school distanced themselves from them but did not fire them (empty talk for me)…

    I feel for Brian Lewis…I feel for local gymnastics…most of all for thema who had snakes in d balasier and a bumbling mooks for a coach. Anyone who believes a 100% negative report where a coach says he wanted to pull the athlete from competition because of an injury and that training was a disaster and she doesnt show any signs of performing well is normal then we really will believe anything.

    A normal thinking board seeing that email would be very worried.

    A board of vipers would be singing hallelujah!!!!

    Despite my deep dislike for the current leaders of the TTGF I dont refusing an olympic spot does any ounce of benefit to Gymnastics…In fact to any gymnastics observer on the outside it makes us look even more incompetent.

    • I respectfully disagree this us about it’s about Fairplay, one of the 3 principles of Olympian ism, your athlete cannot gain an advantage or have personal gain to the,detriment of another competitor due to illegal maneuvers ect….its in the Olympic Charter. Also I am from the gymnastic community that Marisa is from here in Edmonton , she has a lot of friends and fans here, HOWEVER, now the the general feeling around here is although we support Marisa, we can support her as an Olympian, she is forever linked to a corrupt board and compromised her own integrity about lying about the ft McMurray timeline our coaches were there and they have confirmed that Marisa left McMurray just after 9 pm

    • Cannot support her I mean in her Olympic bid.

    • Monz lol at forever linked….if u say so.

      Tatiana gutsu was corruptly put into a finals for ukraine at the olympics one of the biggest gymnastics controversies ever….she is forever linked to being one of the greatest gymnasts of all time (she went on to win all around gold)

      And while i make no excuse for this corrupt nasty board and they should be banned lets not kid ourselves…corruption in sport is sadly too often commonplace.

      Often it isnt about fairplay its about winning “at all costs” within and on the lines and over it.

      The TTGF while biased and unethical havent done anything illegal so to speak, which is why they are still so boldfaced and arrogant in the face of a thunderstorm of criticism.

      And arrogance and conniving lead to stupidity. The TTGF could have gotten what they wanted by simply adopting the system marths karoyli did in US gymnastics…but dey dotish…

      In the end the losers are going to be the ladies and gymnastics in trinidad…not them…

      no big salaries to lose….just some microscopic power.

      This situation is a mess.

    • btw if u eh wanna support marisa that is an understandable choice, which u have every right to.

    • But i keep laughing at the constant quotations of the olympic charter when anyone viewing thay sport and the various sports within it know the opposite is rampant.

      And dont think I dont agree that is how it should be eh…

      but man is corrupt…sports is big business…gambling by the billions…

    • Time will tell where this will end up…both sides appear confident of victory…well that is if the ttoc refuses the spot…if they dont well…

    • Give her a bligh and let her compete. Corruption wins again.

  35. They have the receipt for coffee gtfoh

  36. “Judgement Day” soon come for the “Canadian at heart” ??

  37. Thema allowed herself to be smarted by this girl ‘s mother with site seeing photographs to promote her daughter’s cause. These people are too smart for you Thema.

  38. For goodness sake they have already admitted publicly that they gave her the go ahead to compete PRIOR to informing Thema, this just makes Marisa look worse as she is now trying to defend her co-conspirators! TTOC MUST DECLINE THE SPOT. Because unlike Thema, trinidad will have other opportunities to go to the Olympics.

  39. Andre ?????. Such disappointment.

  40. I am not concerned with all the finer details though they may be relevant in the larger scheme of things. Nobody seems to want to answer this question and I direct it to the President DAVID MARQUEZ. .. Why did DAVID MARQUEZ make the call to pull Thema and why didn’t he take the advice of the Physio, that Thema was fit for competition. .Again I say, the Constitution of the TTGF..under COUNCIL (o) says that making that call is the responsibility of “an Hon, Medical Officer”… Who gave MARQUEZ that authority. And we now have another high handed Secretary saying…”we did what we had to do” and they have no regrets, we are also hearing that it was said that serving on the exec. is a voluntary thing, also..Mr Elton Prescott QC advised the TTGF of changes to their Constitution which they ignored, so to compound this issue, am I to assume that the Executive of the TTGF is a lawless group and a law unto themselves?..what do the 16 member clubs have to say about this executive bringing their organization into disrepute?… So far nothing?…What a joke.

  41. The sympathy ploy has gone into high gear now?
    Ok. Yeah, good luck with that.
    I wished someone asked about the death threats and the precautions taken

  42. and lets talk about the Venue , MacDonald Island , it is North in Valley of Ft McMurray, Mc Murray is a city that is spread out, one who have to travel from the venue , through the city, stop umm at where she said they were staying and then continue on, in my estimation , to get from venue to host house , because i know McMurray so well, to grab stuff and go about 20 minutes, then hit the HWY…wait not that easy and quick…remember Ft McMurray is spread out , to get to the outskirts and hWY 63 umm about another 20 minutes, so thats about – 40-45 minutes before they are on highway, now add in the time to make it to Wandering River , the timeline totally fits with leaving around 9 pm — If I need to go on record anywhere for the above statements , i will gladly do so.

  43. last session ended just before 9 pm on the Friday, venue was closed , just the volunteers were cleaning up the competition floor. I am from Ft McMurray, HWY 63 is the only HWY going to and from McMurray, it is an incredibly busy and congested highway you cannot fly down it nor make good time. Friday night, shift workers are leaving town back for Edmonton , this HWY leads to McMurray which is the heart of the OILsands there are high amount of tractor trailer, and heavy equipement haulers on this HWY, they call it the HWY of death for a reason you cannot speed and dart in and out of traffic safely you CANNOT get to Wandering River in a hour it is IMPOSSIBLE unless someone is a skilled racecar driver and NO TRAFFIC—-wait even the later could not make that kind of time, this HWY 63 is the busiest and most dangerous highway in the province of Alberta. this HWY also has hills , curves, —— This has to stop , i was giving them the benefit of the doubt as I am a huge fan of Marisa’s and like to think they were being deceived by the TTGF , but as this story grows its becoming woefully apparent that their is alot of collusion occurring here. For further reference on can call Transportation Alberta or even the RCMP detachment in FT McMurray , you will get the same answer. As for the gas reciept it totally proves what i just said.

  44. I’m sorry but this does not prove anything to me. ??. Like really this can belong to anyone?. Why is it so hard to just post her Flight Itinerary. That is the only proof I’ll believe and that would also prove to me Dick was not complicit in this scheme. Until then for all I know your neighbour or friend could have just give you that ?????. Sorry. Just post when you booked her flight and that will clear everything up as flight would have been booked and paid for after you received the second call. (Ps. If Dick was competing in another competition she won’t have had need to have a ticket to Brazil dated before the 15th ). ???.

  45. I’m sorry but this does not prove anything to me. ??. Like really this can belong to anyone?. Why is it so hard to just post her Flight Itinerary. That is the only proof I’ll believe and that would also prove to me Dick was not complicit in this scheme. Until then for all I know your neighbour or friend could have just give you that ?????. Sorry. Just post when you booked her flight and that will clear everything up as flight would have been booked and paid for after you received the second call. (Ps. If Dick was competing in another competition she won’t had need to have a ticket to Brazil dated before the 15th ). ???.

  46. I know if I want to prove that someone call me at 11:27pm on such and such a day, I pull out my phone and show them.

  47. That interview got me more pissed when it was stated that this is a team effort and not one individual.

  48. Lasana, for whatever it is worth, nudge, nudge, wink, wink; that receipt eh mean d#*k!

  49. 204 km in 53 minutes is 230 km/hr or 142 mph. Go Hannifa!

  50. Their got their facts as straight as a stirred up pot of overboiled spaghetti!

  51. Miss H. Dick claims to have driven 204 km in 53 mins = an average speed of 143 miles per hour……..Canadian Grand Prix time trials oui…….all ah we here chuppid together.

  52. Look collusion! Look bias! Look using your position in a school to influence people unwittingly to your chosen one.

  53. So after reading, because unfortunately I had to miss the interview, I have some notes:
    1. No financials for 8 years? And Darryl Smith ignoring calls to defund the TTGF??!! No eh!!!!!
    2. Too much waffling on the time line. People being dishonest.
    3. Dick’s personal integrity is in the toilet.
    4. Leave Ms Hislop outta allyuh bachanaal!
    5. Lasana Liburd is Dick Tracy!!
    6. Local media may have many faults but the TTGF ain’t one of them.
    7. The TTGF has always tried to be fair….to Dick!
    8. The naming convention for a new move uses the person’s surname to name it. #DickMount #DickMove
    9. We know why you want to compete for TT: #EliteAthleteFunding $$$$ #CanadianAtHeart
    10. Of course you find the TTGF did the right thing; you benefitted.

  54. This is not about race or colour, it’s all about deception. Thema won that spot from the begin, they ( meaning LueShue and others) went to hell and back just to place Ms Dick at that Test event…..she should have refuse knowing how her so called teammate (Thema) was being treated by the TTGF….Thema had to fight from day one agaist an organization which had absolutely no respect for her talent.

    • My point exactly!!! Do the sportsmanship thing and not take the spot. Get Thema or coach and find out what’s up. But no you run at first at whatever means necessary!! Greedy in yuh lil backside!! And the mother only saying”we” and “us”!!! STOP LIVE THROUGH YOUR DAUGHTER’s BODY!!! Your dreams and aspirations is turning her into a deceptive and conniving person!

  55. Lasana Liburd so she provides proof of her lie? lol ….. not too smart nah.

  56. Lawwwwd fadda this is getting more and more ridiculous by the minute

  57. Editor’s Note: The story has been updated with a copy of the Dick’s gas receipt on 14 April 2016.

  58. Woman…please don’t waste my time

  59. Mama dick trying her best to do that damage control… But I don’t believe her though

  60. This is getting rather silly now

  61. Dropping the ball because he knew is some demons he was dealing with. He was to lie and say all is well.

  62. Thema Williams’ coach did not drop the ball. TTGF should have seek clarification to assure no misunderstanding. The decison to replace Thema should only occur as a result of a meeting of the minds (her coach, Thema, and TTGF). THAT’S IT.

  63. Does not even matter. The issue is with the TTGF, not the time they left Canada.

    • Very true Jeremy. I would have actually left it alone altogether if I were them. Of course the board would look better if it were proven that the call was made AFTER Thema was officially cut.
      But Marisa and Hannifer would have had no way of knowing what was going on between the TTGF and Thema at that point.

    • Only way we will really know is if the court subpoenas phone and email records up to a week before the event. But that ain’t gonna happen.

  64. Well yes. I have a headache now ??

    • My mom always told her children ‘truth’ defends itself so tell the truth and it will set you free …. Look at what happen now … Marisa said she never tried out for the Canadian team and it came to light that she did in 2011 …. Keep digging until all yuh reach China before falling in!

  65. They choose not to recognize the language

  66. Is mommy dearest really suggesting to support the ttgf?

    BTW, good questions callers esp why Marisa was allowed to make the call to perform with dislocated ribs at the World Games whereas Williams did not get the same opportunity over a sore ankle in Rio. *nail in coffin*

    • They think we are monkeys in trees, swinging for our bananas. Not all of us are so stupid to believe this bull. As for the picong concerning their name?? Any TRUE TRINI would be able to bend over and take it like a man *pun intended*

    • Alexx, from the TTGF October 15, 2015 facebook posting about the TT team for World’s in Scotland:

      “Their coaches are Colin Leigh (City of Manchester Institute of Gymnastics), John Geddert (Twistars Gymnastics – Michigan US) and Ovidiu Serban (Ortona Gymnastics – Edmonton CAN). HOD is Anita Pelletier (Brevet judge) and the Massage Therapist is Nicole Fuentes”

    • All “true trinis” can take picong??? lol

      While I understand the anger this has caused many of the comments are becoming as irrational as can be.

    • She would have had to drive almost double the speed limit (100/110 km/hr) on that highway. That would be 200km/hr. Just coming out of winter in Alberta it’s dark at that time, desolate, and there are deer and other wildlife in the area. A short area of the highway under construction.

      And wouldn’t most people driving at night would gas up in Fort McMurray before leaving too, especially when driving at night.

  67. Don’t want to hear anymore from them. Only compounding the lies. Her coach “dropped the ball” yes, but it seems he spoke gymnastic language. Seems injury is a given of the sport and athletes work with them all the time. They all should have recognized the language

    • Ralph Maharaj asked him why he gave the report. He said because you are supposed to give an honest report and if they had called, he would have told them that later on Thema had a near perfect routine. They just wanted an excuse. He said for two years they tried to get rid of Thema even though she’s the superior athlete. When she qualified ahead of Dick they tried to change the criteria for qualifying to go to the test event. Then it was boobgate. When Dick’s picture surfaced, they dropped it. I just saw David Marquez’s interview. #Disgusting

    • I seriously couldn’t get past her saying the TTGF ‘followed proper procedure.” ?

  68. a liar has no memory……….lies, lies and more lies.

  69. I’m not buying any of what they tried to sell tonight.

  70. As for the second part, I believe Lasana said since we were not sending a 5 member team, we did not need a delegate, but he would have to clarify.

  71. She knows exactly why she came here…. her beloved Canada wouldn’t have her. I care nothing for these interviews. you guys are covering up. You’ll get away with it today, but God doh sleep…

  72. What is this??… if you keep lying ppl would believe you??

  73. Look folks, sadly, our sweet Trinidad is a poisoned space. It’s just that the poison is quickly seeping beyond our shores. The thing is, sport is supposed to be an antidote to the ills and poisons ( see West Indies cricket triple crown), but here, the poison seeks to contaminate the antidote . From Warner, to the back stabbing of Narine, to these two young ladies. I could go on.

    • the canadian ent innocent of nothing.. .dont be fooled by her smile

    • But all she did was accept an invitation to compete though. So I don’t think Marisa Dick is at fault really.

    • She could have tried to find out what the story was with Thema first. But that is an old person’s thinking. Young athletes just want to compete, as often as possible.
      I rather look at the adults.

    • I agree with Lasana Liburd concerning this.

    • again she knows more than what she is letting on.. dont be fooled

    • As I read your story Lasana it was clear that Mrs Dick had lined her daughter up for a TT spot for some time. She knew the odds of a TT place for her daughter were much better than a Canadian place. And I guess that makes sense as a parent. The problem I have is the collusion with the TTGF which is yet to be proven otherwise. I also note the sickening arrogance of the board representatives. Nothing less than their removal would suffice. Wish we had a Minister of Sport who could do something????

      • I believe when Marisa was 14, she was under-aged for competing in Olympics and most likely wasn’t going to end up in Canadian Elite Group anyway. That’s when the mother decided to try TnT. There should be some benefits from dual citizenship, right? 🙂 Don’t be fooled by “I’m here to represent TnT” talk she is here to put her name into Olympic Games history, that’s all. The mother isn’t happy by the social media response… :/ That’s why it’s called SOCIAL meaning PUBLIC. Public is outraged, there is a reason for that.

    • I wonder why her Canadian coach suggested she try to represent T&T ..back in 2013 re a CNC 3 interview The Scout…..

    • Lasana Liburd in these individual sports even a ten year old is aware of the politics – lets not be fooled!

  74. off with there heads and that child should not represent us.. oh her words were taken out of context my ass.. shes not a trini and never will be,…. greedy mufus in my books

  75. So I’m assuming that Marisa was already in possession of a Brazilian visa? Or due to her parentage she didn’t need one. Which means she’s also in possession of a Trinidadian passport. So was she the designated alternate, in case Thema could not perform? If so then why wasn’t she in Brazil before hand? I’m just trying to wrap my head around this

  76. I did not hear the entire interview what I did heard was very informative. Comparing yourself to Kamla tell me you play from the same play book. Let’s move on.Saying that they did not try to shaft Williams after she qualified ahead. Ok to perform injured once there is another competitor. I would agree the coach drop the ball. He thought he was dealing with people with ethics and morals. So if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything. So because of that I will not support Dick if we look at the so call big picture when it happen next time we will move the goal post again and say that it will be the now a fixture in the Olympics in gymnastics. So we have become a society where wrong is now right.

  77. Steupsssssssssssssssss … Do not believe anything any of them have said or will say without evidence … airline reservation .. phone records … etc .. and legally no communication is complete until the recipient actually reads the email

  78. People should provide phone records if they really want to provide evidence.