Minister of Science and Technology and the MP for Toco/Sangre Grande Rupert Griffith says the constituency is planning a warm welcome for newly crowned Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott.
Walcott, who comes from the small community of Trois Roches in Toco, claimed the gold in the men's javelin event to break a 36-year drought since Hasely Crawford's gold-medal effort in the 1976 Montreal Olympics in Canada.
"Today, I am most proud of Keshorn (Walcott), who won the gold for the first time since Hasely Crawford. I have had conversations with his mother (Beverly Walcott) after he won the World Junior gold, and we were planning a warm reception for him. But now that he has won the Olympic gold, well, it will be even a warmer reception," the former minister of tourism said.
Griffith said Walcott's gold-medal performance was of huge significance because of the long gap since Crawford's effort, and underlined the need to tap areas like Toco to unearth more athletic talent.
"The fact that he is from Toco/Sangre Grande shows that we need to emphasise on sport in the rural areas. I think over the years, it was neglected, but we need to have renewed emphasis because it shows within the most rural areas, we have this kind of talent emerging," Griffith said.
Out on Independence Square, Port of Spain, spectators of the CCN TV6 big screen exploded into cheers of "Trinidad and Tobago!" yesterday after Walcott's Olympic win.
People sang the national anthem during the broadcast of the men's javelin award ceremony and resumed their shouting at the completion of the anthem.
Earl Martin, a taxi-driver, said he was proud.
"I feel really great. It shows you where young people could go far if they want by doing the right thing, and this (Keshorn) is an example and inspiration for all the young people in T&T."
Martin added: "I didn't expect him to win; to tell the truth, I expected him to make the final eight, but he is a humble fellow, and when you are humble, God does bless you!"
Crystal Daniel, a saleswoman, said yesterday: "I am very excited, very proud and so overjoyed. I wasn't around to experience it with Hasely Crawford, but I was around today!"
Daniel, speaking to the Express on the Brian Lara Promenade, said she wasn't expecting Walcott to win but, "I think that is why everybody was really excited because we weren't expecting it, but at least we have something to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago."
Noel Bramble, a supervisor, said of Walcott's performance: "Brilliant, just brilliant!"
He added that if Walcott stays on the right track and gets the support from Government, he will be able to do it again in the Brazil 2016 Olympics.
Kevon Brathwaite, an electrician, said he also felt proud because "we are a small country, and to come first in a big stage like the Olympics is a very significant thing—a big achievement right there."
He said many people around the world would recognise T&T now.
And what did he think was an appropriate reward for Walcott's achievement?
"We need to get a holiday for that," he said.