Keshorn Walcott received a hero’s welcome at Trinidad’s Piarco Int’l Airport on Monday morning for his Olympic gold win, however, it was Lalonde Gordon who secured Trinidad and Tobago’s first medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Check out this article by Opoku Ware and Elizabeth Williams on Tobago’s newest hero, Lalonde Gordon below:
Who is Lalonde Gordon? Where did he come from? These were just two of the many questions which were being asked when the Tobago born, United States trained athlete won the400 metres Olympic bronze medal last Monday. Gordon captured the country’s first medal in the Olympic Games in London, England, with a 44.52-second run in the men’s 400-metre final.
Gordon who won the 400 metres at the National Athletic Championships last June was not fully recognised by the national media but proved that he has the quality to be among the best in the world.
Lalonde is the son of Ken Gordon of Speyside and Cynthia Cupid of Mt St George. He spent most of his life in the United States where he has developed into a quality athlete. Some close to the sport saw his potential when he beat Renny Quow running in an outside lane at the National Championships in Trinidad. Even then, he did not make the qualifying time to represent the country at the London games. The speedster returned to the United States and literally ran against the clock at a sports meeting and made the time required to compete at the Olympics..
Lalonde Gordon has a similar physique to his grandfather who operated the ‘D Gordon store’ on Bacolet Street corner during the 1970s. His grandfather stood firm in his beliefs for a better Tobago and had strength of character.
When this article was written, another Tobagonian, Semoy Hackett had just made it into the Women’s 200metres final.
The former Scarborough RC, Bishops High School and University of Louisiana student missed out on the 100 metres finals because of a bad start. Speaking to the Tobago News from the Olympic stadium in London, Semoy’s father Roy Hackett revealed that “Semoy is enjoying much popularity in London”. She is expected to turn pro shortly.
Since his stunning performance a few days ago, Gordon has been receiving stirring tributes from both the national and local levels.
Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Orville London believes Lalonde Gordon’s success in obtaining an Olympic bronze medal will serve as an inspiration to his national teammates and cause the country to achieve more medal success. London made the statement in a release issued by the THA on Monday.
“Lalonde’s victory to inspire his national team-mates and would not be surprised if there were medals in the remaining events,” the THA release stated.
London said anyone who looked at Gordon’s bronze-medal performance would be impressed by the “sheer determination” he exhibited.
“Anyone looking at the race would have been impressed by the sheer determination that would have propelled Lalonde in the final 30 metres,” the THA release stated.
London also extended best wishes to the other Tobago-born athletes in the country’s Olympic team, including Semoy Hackett, Josanne Lucas and Renny Quow.
Meanwhile, THA Minority Leader Ashworth Jack also added his words of congratulations to bronze medallist Lalonde Gordon of Lowlands Tobago. Jack said Lalonde’s win sends a message to everyone.
“We are not to allow people to determine what we can achieve, because if that young man allowed people to determine what he would achieve or not, surely Monday would not have been possible,” Jack said. Jack noted that young people must remain determined and not let someone’s opinion of them predict their future. He believes Gordon must be consulted before he receives anything.
Minister of Tobago Development Dr. Delmon Baker also expressed appreciation of Gordon’s achievement.