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Tribute to Deon Lendore: ‘So many extraordinary achievements at such a young age…’

“[…] His light shone so bright. So many extraordinary achievements at such a young age. Sometimes life is terribly unfair. 

“As we come to terms with his passing, those of you who knew of his battles and obstacles and disappointment, understood the significance of his 2021 season and the excitement and joy he felt. He was so looking forward to 2022 and beyond…”

The following tribute to late Olympic medallist Deon Lendore was delivered at his funeral service on Thursday 3 March 2022 by TTOC and TTCGA president Brian Lewis:

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago track star Deon Lendore won bronze at the London 2012 Olympics.

Grieving is the soul’s way of saying you matter. Grief is the price we pay for love. We are all gathered here today because Deon mattered and is loved. 

Deon is an extraordinarily talented young man, very ambitious, patriotic and brave. In conversations with him over the years, his humility and passion always came through. 

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He was never afraid to ask the tough questions. Even though he felt that he always had to prove himself. He embraced being in the spotlight, rising to the challenge and against the odds.

His dignity, courage, indomitable will, determination, dedication and unwavering commitment to excel and make his devoted mother, sister, brother and circle of friends, his community, coaches—in particular Charlie Joseph and Pat Henry—his teammates, his schoolmates and Trinidad and Tobago PROUD stood out like a beacon.

He made a huge impact as a role model for other aspiring athletes and young people.

Photo: Track star Deon Lendore poses with the Bowerman Award at Texas A&M University in 2014.
(via Texas A&M)

He was an inspiration to young people. As busy as he was, he still had time for anyone that needed his ear, guidance and encouragement; and for those who saw in him a role model, he led by example.

His light shone so bright. So many extraordinary achievements at such a young age. Sometimes life is terribly unfair. 

As we come to terms with his passing, those of you who knew of his battles and obstacles and disappointment understood the significance of his 2021 season and the excitement and joy he felt. He was so looking forward to 2022 and beyond.

A wonderful and selfless son, brother, leader, mentor, he earned success, kept the door open and helped so many others to walk through it. He is an ambassador for this generation and the next.

His emotional stamina was fuelled by hope. He will be remembered well beyond his cut short time here on earth.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Deon Lendore ponders his showing at the Tokyo Olympics.
(Copyright nhua News Agency:Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images)

He helped youth and young people to believe in their talents and is an inspiration, especially to those who shared a similar back story as his—in particular Afro-Trinbago youth in Arima and the East-West corridor. 

Deon made a real difference to people’s lives. God makes three requests of his children: Do the best you can , where you are, with what you have now. There is a Yoruba proverb that says when you stand with the blessings of your mother and God, it matters not who stands against you.

His legacy is a message of faith and never giving up, and the gift of hope he gave so many through his example and the strength he found in God. His legacy will live on.

On that fateful night of 10 January 2022, when called on by God, those who know Deon and know of his devotion to the Christian values and faith instilled in him by his beloved and devoted mother, Chrispina, would be assured that Deon would have answered the higher call to service of his maker with bravery, responsibility and commitment. Just as he has always done whenever called upon by his school, club and country. 

Photo: Late Trinidad and Tobago and Texas A&M track star Deon Lendore.
(Copyright myaggienation.com)

Deon would have looked his maker in the eye and accepted the call by echoing and saying the words of 2 Timothy 4: 7-8 (KJV) :

‘I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith.

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day and not to me only but unto all them also that love His appearing.’

RIP Deon.

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