Dr Cliff Bertrand

Dr Cliff Bertrand

Commentary by Dr Cliff Bertrand

Cleopatra Borel, recipient of the Trinidad & Tobago Olympic Committee’s (TTOC) Sportswoman of the Year Award, has validated the ambitions of the organisation’s president Brian Lewis to have this country win ten Olympic gold medals by 2024. Oh “Ambition that over leaps itself”

“Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” (Langston Hughes)

However, it is important to note the purpose of validating is nurturing emotional insecurity, honesty and expression of underlying emotions. Bringing about feelings of being understood, establishing an alibi in support of emotional instability.

Simply put, when people feel emotionally safe, they share more. When they share more, we learn more and are more likely to help them in a supportive, non-threatening way that gets at the root of the problem. Once this is achieved, they gain the emotional and spiritual strength they need to deal with the engagement.
While we may recognize the importance of validation, it is not easy to do. There are often barriers that impact our willingness or ability to follow through with the healing process. Thus, validation won’t fix or solve the problem.

Olympic gold medals may not come from an ageing team in track & field. Where else are they going to come from? We are judging progress based on local accomplishments. We must take a universal look. What is our basis for analysis? What is our yardstick? A marathon!  The World Junior Championship, CAC, Pan Am Games. Where is the past or present empirical data to support 10 by 2024? It is not in the country’s interest to aspire to dreams. How long have we been dreaming? The pharaoh must consult with Joseph for a plan of action. Joseph must interpret the dream for an action plan: primary school, secondary school, open/elite, Ministry of Education, NAAA, NSO.

“Not everyone will agree with me and not everyone will see things the way I see it and that’s just fine as I respect everyone’s right to their opinion and views and to disagree with me.”

Borel added, “It’s possible! Not easy, but possible. How can we compete against and perform better than countries that have bigger budgets, better facilities and larger populations than T&T.”

Money would not solve the problem. Population bears poverty. Coaches are ineffective. The Ministry of Education is not involved in the process .TUTTA is not involved. How do you expect change? The TTOC is a one man show!

“It took 60 years of competition to change “TRI” to “TTO.”

It took Tobago 60 years to be part of “TTO.”

1948 Olympic games to 1976 Olympic = 28 years, 1st Olympic Gold.

1976 – 2012 Olympics total 36 years = 2nd Olympic Gold.

It took 64 years for Trinidad & Tobago to get two (2) Olympic gold medals.

Now the logic is pointing to 10 Olympic gold medals by 2024!

Hope is a concept that suggests a greater emotional component than mere expectation; it is seen as an active process of conscious and subconscious reasoning. Hope is intrinsically linked with spirituality.

The appropriateness of removing all hope even within reassuring care is questioned.

That leaves the Illogical Logic of 10 Olympic gold medals by 2024. The phenomenon of those two little words. What is illogical logic, one would ask?

It is a supreme clash of two perspectives constructing the inadequate line of a presumably surreal metamorphosis.

Putting it mildly, it is simple logic so logical that it’s illogically logical, which is uncertain.

When   Borel is used as a stalking horse for a vision for 10 Olympic gold medals by 2024, it is logically incumbent that the President provides a platform for action, visitations by certain publics to schools to gain traction for his ideas rather than appeal for public sympathy in a Marathon of no significance.

It’s not only logically illogical, but mind boggling.

To reach our target, team T&T will have to win approximately 2.66 gold medals at the 2016, 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games (forgive the math). This is by no means an easy undertaking, but it is possible. Canada, Sweden, Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Greece and Argentina, are all established sporting nations, but each won less than two gold medals at the London Olympic Games. However, because of these facts, I still believe it is possible for team T&T to meet the challenge set by Mr Lewis.

We all have choices in life but whatever choice you make remember action speaks louder than words. Current TTO athletes would be aged out/finished by 2024.

Part of human nature is to be understood, feel wanted and needed. Learning to validate our feelings and those of others build emotional bridges. Establishing these basic connections lay the foundation for emotional security. It is this need that allows us to go out into the world and accomplish things.

Validation is not agreeing with their emotional experience, it is reassuring them that it is okay for them to feel the way they do.

Who is available to execute such a mission? Possible corridors to gold: Borel, Lendore, Cedenio, Thompson, Solomon, Gordon, Ahye, Baptiste, Farinaha, Kyle, Coltrusth, Walcott, Bledman, Sorillo, Calendar, Bovell, Carther, and Phillip. Which affiliated NSO?

Which one or combinations of these would win Olympic gold medals by 2024?  Does TTO have a farm system or any system in place?

Studies indicate that hope and optimism are two concepts that share similarities. That is, hope, optimism, self-efficacy, and resilience are personal resources that can enhance performance. Hope is wishful thinking and waiting. Optimism is the solution to a risk to occur.

As a motive of the actions against hope or purpose, an action event occurs at first. In the process of the achievement against hope and a purpose, it becomes perfunctory or the motivation tends to collapse. In this optimistic sense, human error and a mistake may occur by 2024.

About Dr Cliff Bertrand

Dr Cliff Bertrand is fortunate to have been on both sides of the sporting and education divide, as a Trinidad & Tobago Olympian and a New York City School Administrator. He did his undergraduate work at New York University, graduate work at Brooklyn College, New York University and Columbia University where he accumulated quite a vocabulary of experiences. Arima-born and bred, Dr Bertrand was moulded at Arima Boys RC, Ideal and Progressive High Schools, where he excelled in football and track. He was a member of the only West Indies team which took part in the 1960 Rome Olympics and returned four years later at the Tokyo Games, Japan, as a member of the T&T team. He was also the founder of the Abilene Wildcats Athletic Club and a former NCAA Division One head coach.

Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the columnist and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of GrenadaSports.

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