Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly Wednesday blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of spirituality and sport.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves”-Philippians 2:3
My home country Trinidad and Tobago (TTO) is still reeling from the tragic passing of one of our best track and field athletes whose career seemed far from over. The news of Olympian Deon Lendore’s death in a vehicular accident in Texas, USA, last week is particularly difficult, given its suddenness.
It is due to my friendship with respected Caribbean sports journalist Kwame Laurence that I paid attention to Lendore’s career and his ability to overcome obstacles. Years ago, I had the privilege of meeting him in person once and expressed gratitude to him for his service to our country.
Speaking of service, it is perhaps the tribute from President of the National Association of Athletics Administration of Trinidad and Tobago, George Comissiong, that has most resonated with me. I should mention, too, that such was Lendore’s legacy that accolades have come from all walks of life, including from politicians, former Olympic gold medalists and even from the NBA.
Comissiong told the Daily Express of Trinidad and Tobago that he remembered Lendore assisting fellow runner Dwight St. Hillaire in a wheelchair after the latter injured himself in last year’s Tokyo Olympics 4×400 metre men’s final. Arguably, Team TTO could have been in the medal hunt, but St. Hillaire’s injury ended that optimism. How did Lendore respond? He served his injured teammate by assisting him while in a wheelchair after the relay. No sulking, no selfishness, simply service.
Lendore will be dearly missed. I am grateful to have met him. Yet, I am even more thankful that one aspect of his legacy that will be remembered was his ability to put others before himself in true humility and love.
Make the most of every opportunity to show love to others, whether in word or deed.
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