Rodney Wilkes

1ST OLYMPIC MEDALLIST: Rodney Wilkes

Trinidad and Tobago’s first two Olympic medallists, the late Rodney Wilkes and Lennox Kilgour, will be inducted into the Pan American Weightlifting Hall of Fame on November 14.

The induction ceremony will be broadcast live from 5 p.m. local time through Zoom, and the Youtube and Facebook pages of the Pan American Federation.

The posthumous induction is recognition of the two distinguished local athletes who represented the country at the 1948 London and 1952 Helsinki Olympics,

Wilkes won silver in the featherweight division in 1948 behind the Egyptian champion Mahmoud Fayad. In 1952 he earned bronze behind the Soviet Union pair of Rafael Chimishkyany and Nikolai Saksonov.

Wilkes was also a gold medallist at the inaugural Pan American games in Buenos Aires in 1951 and won a medal of the same colour three years earlier at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Colombia. He also won gold at the 1954 Commonwealth Games. He died in 2014.

Kilgour grabbed a bronze medal in the middleweight division at the 1952 Helsinki Games, that followed his silver medal effort at the 1951 Pan Am Games, while he won another silver at the 1954 Commonwealth Games. Kilgour passed away in 2004.

They are the two main awardees of seven selected by the Federation.

The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) acknowledged their induction yesterday.

“The recognition of the outstanding achievements of Trinidad and Tobago’s first Olympic medallists is deeply appreciated given that this year the T&T Olympic movement is celebrating 75 years. “Weightlifting gave Trinidad and Tobago its first three Olympic medals,” stated president Brian Lewis in a media release.

Lewis added the sport of weightlifting was one of the foundation stones of the T&T Olympic Movement.

Lewis, also the president of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC), said in recognition of the contribution of weightlifting to T&T’s Olympic history, the TTOC had worked with “unwavering determination and dedication to assist with the revitalisation and rebirth of the Trinidad and Tobago Weightlifting Association(TTWA) as a functioning member of the International Weightlifting Federation and the Pan Am Weightlifting Federation.”

The current TTWA executive committee undertaking the responsibility to rebuild local Olympic weightlifting includes Stacey Cateau (president), Anthony Marcano, Nadine Khan and Kwanieze John.

“We are delighted that these two icons of Olympic weightlifting and sport in Trinidad and Tobago have been recognised by the continental weightlifting authorities. It’s important that these two sporting heroes’ significant contribution be recognised and not be forgotten by the weightlifting world,” Lewis concluded.

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