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Thank you, Madame Chef

Published: 
Saturday, August 11, 2012
OLYMPIC JOURNAL - Day 16

 

For Trinidad and Tobago to be successful at the London Olympics, they needed to be assured that all was in place, with rooms, tickets, accreditation, transportation, support staff and everything else. After the experiences in Beijing four years earlier, the T&T Olympic Committee needed to step up its game to ensure there were no problems in London. Let me be the first to say that the TTOC’s choice of Annette Knott as the chef de mission must be applauded. Her concern remains the athletes. “I am proud of all of them. They have done so well in their best performances and reaching finals. And while I know people back home always talk about medals and we all want that, these are just steps they are taking to achieve that in the future.” Knott noted there were 204 nations in London. “Some nations will go home without one of their athlete going past the first round so we should be proud of our achievements. Most persons do not know the effort that many of these athletes have made on their own steam. Look at Njisane Phillips - millions of pounds were spent on Chris Hoy but yet still Njisane was right there pushing the British riders,” added Knott.
 
 
Several of the athletes refer to her as “Mums” and “Aunty”—a sign of respect. They realise that she will do the best for them. All of the athletes I spoke to, admitted the organisation and administration were excellent. Knott explained that the pre-games camp in Wales was a major success. “It allowed us to get to know each other and gave the athletes a chance to work with the support staff, who have done wonderful work. It is a great just to be here with them. This is about commitment for T&T. I am very pleased with the help of both the president and general secretary of the TTOC, who have greatly assisted me”  The elegant chef de mission sent out a message to T&T. “Let us please work together with our athletes. In talking with them, I know they have done a lot of what was achieved without our help. We all know we can do more for them,”stated Knott.  There are no words to describe what Knott has done as the team leader of this group and her positive outlook and foresight behind the scenes have kept the spirit, enthusiasm and fighting nature of this team going forward.  Several of the athletes have left the Olympic Village. Among them are the boxing team, some of the swimmers and Roger Daniel. Most of the team will leave tomorrow for T&T. However, Knott will remain in London until Monday to ensure everyone is properly taken care of before she leaves.

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