Former national cyclist and administrator Compton Gonslaves was laid to rest yesterday following a funeral service at the Church of the Assumption, Long Circular Road, Maraval. Gonsalves died last Tuesday at the Mount Hope General Hospital. He was 85. Gonsalves represented T&T in the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, the CAC Games and the world Championships and many other international events. The former St Mary's College student, migrated from his native Guyana to T&T at the age of 14.
In 1945 he borrowed a bicycle from his friend Harry Mathieu and started his riding career. In 1946 he won a bronze medal in the 4,000 meters team pursuit at the Fifth Central American and Caribbean Games in Colombia later in the year he formed the club Saddle Boys. Inspired by higher a calling Compton travelled to England wear he wanted to be a priest along the way he changed his mind and returned to T&T wear he prepared for the 1948 Summer Olympics and was the first athlete to represent T&T in cycling. Compton was also instrumental in forming the Cycling federation in 1951 along with Ferdi De Gannes, in 1982 Compton and De Ganes formed Madomma Wheelers.
In 1985 Gonsalves was inducted into the T&T Sports Hall of Fame in 2010, the T&T Cycling Federation held the first annual Compton Gonsalves All Star Invitational 300 meter power sprint. Gonsalves suffered a bad fall during a 1000 meters International race at the Queen's Park Oval during a race along with Luis Toro of Venezuela, and ended up in a coma for a week in 1954. Following the accident Gonsalves never returned to competitive riding and ventured into training and administration. Gonsalves youngest brother Joseph Gonsalves described him as an intensely primitive and a dedicated catholic "many of you will remember him as out going , tell-it-as-it is kind of man and robust is how I remember him".