Is there shame in not winning? Is there some apology needed when gold-medal aspirations fall short at the last hurdle and turn instead to a lesser placing, further down the field? How do we, as a country, account for the investment in our athletes? Is performance measured only by precious metal at world games? I have no answers. I am, first and foremost (like everyone else and all you METRO readers), a fan. So yes, I want to see our T&T athletes climb the highest step on the rostrum and I too want to sing our national anthem and see a Trinidad and Tobago athlete bite that gold medal. But let's get real here: do these athletes owe us anything but the assurance that their performance at these games were the best effort they could put out? In my humble opinion, no, they don't owe us anything more than that.
It's ridiculous to compare T&T to any other country. Even our closest neighbors, Grenada, and especially the Joneses up in Jamaica, with whom we constantly try to face-off against, are more than just the nautical miles apart from us, but also different in every way. When T&T's lone finalist in the Men's 100m final at the London Olympics dropped into the blocks, in the minds of many Trinis Richard Thompson was racing for third. He couldn't beat Usain Bolt, the eventual winner, nor his Jamaican compatriot Yohan Blake either, the form gurus would say. Tyson Gay? Justin Gatlin? Bah humbug! That Thompson finished seventh, and ran his fastest race at the London Olympics—just two-hundredths of a second off his season best—doesn't seem to matter. Does anyone care that, had Thompson run his fastest ever, 9.86 seconds, he would have finished only two places up, in fifth—and still outside the medals?