ELATED but not surprised.
That’s how Debra “Marcella” Woods, mother of Trinidad and Tobago’s newest gold medallist, Jehue Gordon, reacted yesterday to news of her son’s gold medal win at the 14th IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia.
A soft-spoken Woods said yesterday she was sad to have missed the actual 400-metre hurdles race that netted gold for Gordon as she was at work, but she was looking forward to seeing the replays on the evening news.
Woods spoke with the Express during a visit to the family’s home in Papia Village, Morne Coco Road, Maraval, yesterday afternoon.
She said her 21-year-old athlete son spends his time either studying or training, and she knew he was headed to increased success.
Asked her initial reaction to the news of his feat in Moscow, she said, “I gave thanks to God, first. I thanked Him for making this miracle possible for Jehue.”
Sporting the names of her two sons—Jehue and Zaid—tattooed on her neck, Woods said she knew he would bring home gold this week.
During a trip to the beach on the weekend, she said she went into the sea and prayed for Gordon’s success.
“I saw something golden next to me appear while I was praying and then it disappeared. That is when I knew that he would bring gold for Trinidad and Tobago,” Woods said.
The mother and son spoke around 2 a.m. on Wednesday and also prayed together.
She said she reminded him to “dip his head” at the finish line.
“Yes, I did tell him that,” she said, laughing.
Describing theirs as a “happy family”, Woods said Gordon has kept his life “simple” and is strict about how he uses his time.
“My son doesn’t waste time,” she said.
Asked whether any celebrations were in the works for his return, Woods said while the family will enjoy the time together when Gordon is back at home, he likes to keep it quiet.
“If there is a celebration, he will appreciate it, but if there is not, that would not be a big deal to him,” she said.
In an alcove of the porch of the family’s hillside home, dozens of medals and trophies are on display behind a locked glass door.
There are more to come, Woods believes, including an Olympic medal.
“He will mash them up at the next Olympics in Brazil in 2016,” Woods said.