Keshorn Walcott, 19, T&T’s London 2012 Olympic gold winner has been reunited with his trademark javelin.
At Saturday’s 18th Annual T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) Awards held at the National Academy for the Performing Arts on Frederick Street in Port-of-Spain, the organisation’s president Michael Larry Romany sprung the surprise on a visibly overwhelmed Walcott.
The athlete then revealed to the audience that included Their Excellencies President George Maxwell Richards and Dr Jean Ramjohn Richards, that quietly, he had always wondered if retrieving the javelin which meant so much to him was actually possible.
Earlier on the programme, Walcott walked away with the Junior Sportsman of the Year and Sportsman of the Year Awards which many thought were his ultimate prizes for recognition of his achievement this year.
But when Romany took the spotlight and his vice president Annette Knott brought out the javelin, it generated an emotional response from the champion athlete. Receiving the javelin trumped the awards presented earlier.
The special presentation to Walcott came just when it was felt he could want nothing more following the gifts bestowed onto him by the Government on behalf of the people of T&T, upon his success.
Everyone was proven wrong. It turned out that since his victory back in August, Walcott, who hails from beautiful Toco had been wondering if he would ever again hold the javelin he used throughout the Olympic Games.
In a T&T Guardian interview, Romany said, the effort to secure the javelin had to be treated as a “hushed matter” and that only two other members of the executive knew: Knott and TTOC general manager.
“We had to get in touch with the organisers. The Para-Olympic Games comes right after the Olympic Games and once it entered into that arena, we would not have been able to get it. We had to get in there, get the right person to contact the organiser of the track and field (events) get them to go down and find it, because it has a number on it. Now, in talking with him (Keshorn), I had gotten the number. He didn’t know that we were going to get it. I knew that it would represent something very important for T&T, because it’s like if you throw a hammer or a shot-put. It has value to the country. It has value to the athlete. We figured that we had to have it. We flew Annette there (back to London) to make sure and pick it up.”
Back to the awards now at which the track-star Kelly-Ann Baptiste had her name etched as Sportswoman of the Year, while cyclist Jodie Goodridge was named Junior Sportswoman of the Year. Goodridge took the rostrum to receive her kudos, but Baptiste honour was accepted by her mother.
The prestigious Sport Personality of the Year Award went to javelin coach Ismael Lopez Mastrapa and was received by his wife Michelle Stoute Lopez.
The outstanding work done by the Harvard Club in the area of youth development in sport earned the much touted outfit the Alexander B Chapman Award which its president Brigadier General Carl Alfonso accepted.