Wednesday, January 17, 2018

‘Barracuda’ Mitchell passes on

Former top Trinidad and Tobago cyclist Hylton Mitchell has died at the age of 87.

In a press release, yesterday, Minister of Sport Anil Roberts expressed his condolences.

“I mourn with the local cycling family the loss of this giant. He was indeed a pioneer in many ways, and a true sportsman, switching disciplines after a serious injury and remaining at the top of his game in para-sport through athletics and weightlifting. It is this courage and indomitable spirit that we admire and will dearly miss. To his family, the South-based club he co-founded--Southampton Wheelers--and his friends and fans, Hylton lived a full life, bringing joy to all who were privileged to see him compete or to hear his life story.”

Mitchell, who bore the fearsome nickname “Barracuda”, was as speedy and dangerous as the tropical fish, dominating the short and middle distances in T&T cycling for much of the 1950s. However, an accident in 1958 ended his cycling career. He took up weightlifting and athletics--javelin and shot put--and brought precious metal to T&T at Commonwealth and Pan American Para Games. Mitchell earned silver in weightlifting at the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games in 1966 and gold in the same sport at the 1970 Games. He also struck gold in javelin and bagged bronze in shot put at the Para Pan Am Games in 1967.

Mitchell was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 1985 and earned the Hummingbird Medal (Silver) two years earlier for his contribution to para-sport. Until his death, Mitchell remained an integral part of the cycling fraternity, most recently attending an event in his honour hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation (TTCF) in April 2013.