Home / Rio 2016 / Marisa does not feel anyone is fighting for her! The full email to the TTGF last November

Marisa does not feel anyone is fighting for her! The full email to the TTGF last November

“I wanted to let you know that Marisa (Dick) is now aware that she was not chosen to go to the test event in Rio,” stated a letter from Hannifer Dick’s email account on 9 November 2015. “It was posted onto the TTOC website which Thema (Williams) has shared…

“I have tried to tell her that there is hope but at this point she does not feel like anyone is fighting for her.”

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

The preceding email—excerpts of which were used by TV6 on Monday April 25—was sent from the email address of Hannifer Dick, the mother of Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick, on 9 November 2015, which was three weeks after Thema Williams qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Test event at the Glasgow 2015 World Championship.

Dick and Williams and their respective parents both signed pre-World Championship contracts, which stated that the gymnast who performed best in Glasgow would take Trinidad and Tobago’s sole berth in Rio.

Williams went on to place 59th while Dick finished 77th.

However, Dick’s email suggested that she—in tandem with second vice president Ricardo Lue Shue and Canadian choreographer Anita Pelletier—discussed setting a new qualification criteria after Williams had already earned the spot.

Pelletier noted that the trio’s machinations were meant to be private but had been leaked by “Team Thema.”

The TTGF delayed naming Williams as its appointed gymnast for three weeks, while it apparently considered setting a new yardstick. But Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis advised the gymnastics body that it was bound to give the spot to 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)

Hannifer appeared upset by the decision.

“I do not understand why this decision was made without putting into effect the two competition still to take place,” stated the email, in bold letters. “(…) I am not entirely sure what else she can do and I am not sure how to keep her positive and motivated.

“The reasoning for not telling her right away was because we wanted her to train as if there was still a chance but after reading all that has been said she does not know what to think.

“It is a hard thing to see your child cry when she knows how hard she has worked to accomplish all that she has and to have it be so unfair to her.”

Hannifer also claimed that her daughter met the criteria for the Rio Olympic Test event while performing with an injury—believed to be a dislocated rib—in Glasgow.

Ironically, Williams was ruled out of Rio Test event due to a sore ankle, although TTGF president David Marquez made the decision without a medical report and, according to Williams’ coach John Geddert, a Brazilian doctor subsequently ruled that she was able to compete.

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)

(Letter from email address of Hannifer Dick, which appeared to be sent to TTGF second vice president Ricardo Lue Shue)

At 11 pm, on 9 November 2015: I wanted to let you know that Marisa is now aware that she was not chosen to go to the test event in Rio. It was posted onto the TTOC website which Thema has shared.

Marisa is heart broken because nowhere there does it mention that she has represented Trinidad and Tobago for the last four years and has done so with the utmost respect for everyone involved.

I have tried to tell her that there is hope but at this point she does not feel like anyone is fighting for her.

Thema’s mother Helen is mentioned several times and this has all played out in the media. We have not spoken to anyone in the media nor has anyone from the media there tried to contact us.

I do not understand why this decision was made without putting into effect the two competition still to take place.

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)

Both Thema and Marisa competed in three competitions and the first being in Puerto Rico wherein Marisa did the job that was required of her. The second being Pan Am qualifications. Marisa showed that she was a true competitor and qualified a spot for Trinidad and Tobago to send a gymnast to the Pan Am Games.

Marisa tore her Achilles tendon which required surgery. She then spent the next year working hard and fighting to get back to the top of her game while still being respectful to everyone and being a good role model to everyone she has come into contact with.

Marisa has accomplished so much for Trinidad and Tobago by bringing home their first ever international medals, qualifying to the all around at the Pan Am Games and improving on her position by 6 positions.

She did this after a horrible injury and much hard work. That is dedication and a love of the sports. In the four years who has done more.

I am not entirely sure what else she can do and I am not sure how to keep her positive and motivated. The reasoning for not telling her right away was because we wanted her to train as if there was still a chance but after reading all that has been said she does not know what to think.

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)

It is a hard thing to see your child cry when she knows how hard she has worked to accomplish all that she has and to have it be so unfair to her. Her words to me was “how come no one sees how much I have done?”

I have always told Marisa to believe in her self and just do what she has trained. She did just that at Worlds. We all know how injured she was and still went out and competed as the true champion she is.

We went into Worlds with two goals and those being: (1) to be able to qualify a position to the Test Event in Rio (which she did); and (2) to debut a new skill which she has spent hours upon hours learning. This is another first.

At this point, I am not sure how to help her believe. We knew that if Marisa had placed higher that we would have to prove that she deserved the position.

I never expected to have fairness taken away, I just assumed that what was right would be just that.

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)

(Letter from email address of Anita Pelletier to Hannifer Dick, which is copied to Marisa Dick’s coach, Ovidiu Serban, and TTGF second vice-president Ricardo Lue Shue)

At 11.49 pm on 9 November 2015: I would like to hear back from the federation tomorrow telling us the plan for addressing this situation publicly. This is no longer private due to team Thema.

AboutLasana 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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303 comments

  1. Steups….she worked hard??? all that has been wiped away when she accepted a position she did not deserve. It’s like I was a nun my whole life, living my life for the Lord, and then one day I killed a man who was in the doorway of the church I wanted to pray at… he blocked me so I just pulled out a weapon and killed him.

    Not a person with sense is going to remember what good things my nun self before i killed the man who was in my way…

    So please… give me a rest with that. She took something that didn’t belong to her. Let her now reap what she has sown, and may God have mercy on her soul…

  2. M. Dick was part of the conspiracy, You really wanna tell me her mom didn’t tell her what was going too or what will be done to her a place ahead of the bonifide person to whom it was agreed would of continue to the test event and and ultimately the Olympics ….
    M. Dick was part n parcel so plz don’t assume she acted innocently “As ah child” ….

    • I have said this from the start. She is enabled to be a spoilt brat and both mother and daughter feel entitled. I still want to know what she did to have the Lue Shues sell their souls to her. And to be quite honest, however hard she thinks Marisa worked, better believe Thema had to put out more coming from this ‘third world likle island.’ Their biggest shortfall was under estimating the support the ‘likle island’ people have for OUR own.

  3. If she had an ounce of integrity she would drop out!!!

    • I agree totally its called sportsmanship but most of all integrity and she has none so you will not get my support for that i could havr simply said no bit god only wears pajamas he will deal with you he hates ugly

  4. A whiff of bias. Lol. Just a whiff of the $11.3Million worth of bias, bad mind and bobol.

  5. Is she still persistent on going Rio?

    • She going. After all of this Fruckery, she feel she have a point to prove. And I agree… prove your point madam, just like all the other dicks prove theirs. ?

  6. Remember people, these are kids caught in an unfortunate situation created by adults. I’m sure they’ve both worked very hard to get to this point in their sport, so please, when we make comments temper them with a little empathy for both of them and don’t direct our anger, frustration and harsh words at the young ladies.

  7. Another set of tears…. these people have meh tears rolling all over meh keyboard… so sorry Dickie but yuh have de whole feddies fighting , mummy fighting…. smile nah….

  8. Dick wants to be in the books for another skill That’s all. At the end of the day it’s no one’s fault but the TTGF. They are to be blamed cuz they did this to Thema. I hope she sues their socks off.

  9. Reading this article jus proving how they cheated Thema. Even after the girl earned the spot they still conspired to take it from her at all cost. And why cos Marissa cries? The point is apart from being Trini you didn’t earn the spot in the right way. There were clearly A lot of ‘string pulling’ for you. I

  10. I don’t see how she thinks she is entitled to represent us when Thema scored the highest. The highest has to compete.

  11. IT ALL COMES DOWN TO RACE and people don’t understand that the history books won’t made for black people

  12. This whole thing is playing out like a season of the game of thrones and hanifa is quite comparable to the Queen Cercies

  13. Did she try out for the Canadian team? She failed?

  14. Well maybe she should contact the Canadian ambassador to tnt. He might consider taking up he battle

  15. We r always our own worst enemy N if we can’t accept our own who the heck will. ..a born trinbagonian N a Canadian who don’t evn have a trini accent uet we forsake our own…who the hell will ever take trinidad N tobago serious in a my thing? ?? the decision those with a little power makes always make us as a country look so bad in the outer world #accepturown1st

  16. im so tired of this whole non issue

  17. Sooooo u dont wanna see your daughter cry but its ok to make somebody else’s daughter cry???? I think DICK’s mother wanted to go Rio more than DICK herself!!!! At any cost of injustice to Thema…..How did she get the support of the Gymnastics committee in the end??? Hmmmmmmmm no morals, no values, no respect, no shame!!!!

  18. That’s not a feeling booboo

  19. Why should we fight for you Marissa? Thema worked long and hard for that spot and because Yuh have the right connections Yuh bump her out with lies and now Yuh cyah take d heat! Go back to Can’t neh DA we don’t want you to represent us!

  20. Look, let she take a left yes. For once I’m happy to see injustice being consistently addressed in this country. Tough luck you’re not in the spotlight. One: let’s face it, if not for said injustice, you wouldn’t have been there anyway. Two: you’re doing this for yourself as much as the country. Just chillax and do what you need to do.

  21. Ah wonder why ?….Boo Hoo Boo Hoo

  22. Wdf u want somebody fight for u??? Steupzzz

  23. What kind of F****y I now read

  24. She damn right no one is fighting for her after what was done to Thema and even more so after she said in HER interview that her heart was CANADIANS. Let her haul her arse.

  25. The better gymmast should represent us. And the agreement both teams signed should be adhered to and enforced.

    Saying you don’t “see” race or saying that calling out race based decisions should be forgotten is to fail to accept reality as it is lived.

    If you’ve never heard the term good hair you are lucky. Thoughs of race, ethnicity, skin colour and hair texture influence many many decisions in countries like ours and in countries with “rainbow nations”. Not wanting to acknowledge the influence of these factors does not diminish their influence sadly.

  26. What in the world is GOOD HAIR. Why is there a problem between making a decision as to who is the better Gymnast. We need to forget this RAINDOW NATION Bull. There is only one HUMAN RACE and besides there is no Black or White in a Rainbow. The better Gymnast should represent us and the idiots in the race riot should come to the 21st Century and stop thinking that Human Beings are crayons.

  27. I looked at a video of Thema doing her ” floor routine ” and she looked like an athlete with OLYMPIC experience……………..she gets my vote

  28. If this ain’t machinations, then what is it? It’s downright disgraceful that the gymnastics body would operate in this manner. Shame on the team behind Dick too. The best athlete should represent, and Dick needs to understand that. This backdoor manner in which they’re trying to have her be the representative is not in the spirit of sports.

  29. “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery none but ourselves can free our minds”

    This is not a race or ethnicity issue, its about bias and nepotism!

  30. Do any of us realise that while we debate to the point of being nasty and prejudice over nationality we are losing the focus of right and wrong. I would hate to think that we (T&T) so desperate for medal success and recognition that we are willing to relinquish integrity and principle. Fact is there are rules,regulations and laws for a reason once circumvented they are breached. In my honest opinion once the person who legitimately qualified was removed by tweaking said rules to accommodate another then Trinidad and Tobago was by extension removed. We have NO ONE that qualified for that spot save the one who legitimately did ,manipulation by individual or team/representative automatically disqualifies the other. So lets try for the next competition.

    • Earl Best

      You’re a voice crying in the wilderness if ever there was one. In unprincipled country, politics prevails.

      • Wholesomely agree Mr.Best we do reside in an unprincipled country. Where ministers can lie in parliament without being admonished,where a President can be compensated financially via an allowance in lieu of a house, yet reside in one paid for by the state(albeit temporary). We have had many foreign athletes with Trinbagonian parentage with whom symbiotic deals were made so that we at least may savor the thought of glory. A great teacher once told me “character is not commodity,it cannot and must not be bargained one must have principle and scruples which must maintain its value through one’s life”. That was on the front steps of the N. Block of QRC. You were that teacher Mr.Best. I still believe in that,as well “evil triumphs when good men do nothing”. Thanks for the lessons, if we shrug this off as we’ve other breaches,politics or not we continue to struggle in the quagmire of our own inaction.

  31. Thema could’ve given those US girls some competition tho.. powerful in her routines

  32. Tell me the mother “bribed her point of view” that The Dhickk needs to be deserved???

  33. This was the wheel of fortune big money

  34. One can get from Port of Spain to Rio in as little as 12hrs (including connection) the average time is about 15hrs connections included

  35. This country is a big fucking joke across the board…