On the negative comments towards her selection, she said, “It has been really tough just knowing that all of this was something I was never used to. I never had all this hate towards me before and so for it all to come and especially going into the Olympics when I was just trying to focus on my gymnastics, when there’s all this extra hate going on all around me, (it) was really tough.” She added that her friends and family offered support throughout these tumultuous times and things eventually subsided closer to the Games. Dick added that she never let the peripheral drama get to her because she was living her dream and hoped to advance for TT.

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“I listened to my family and friends and they kept boosting my confidence. (I) just stayed off social media and didn’t read any of it but definitely, yeah, it was tough just coming in knowing a lot of the country wasn’t behind me.

© Francisco Velásquez PDVSA

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I was so honoured to compete for Trinidad and Tobago and to know there was some people that would rather Thema go or no one was really heartbreaking but as the Games got closer, I had so many supporters and it (was) amazing to feel all the love,” Dick elaborated.

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She remained undeterred and stated that as daunting as the experience was, the controversy and the challenges on the mat would only strengthen her character as she wanted to press forward with her sport.

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Dick believes that Rio 2016 was a stepping stone for her as well as future gymnasts locally and relished the lessons learnt, especially with the high level of competition.

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She stated that the Opening Ceremony alone was something surreal and expressed a desire to return once more under TT colours.

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“It was incredible. I mean it’s what you look forward to your whole life. I’ve been training for it for the past 17 years and just to be there and drive up to the village and just experience it all has just been amazing.

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I walked through the Opening Ceremony and I was right in the front. It was amazing.

I almost started crying. It was just overwhelming because you see it on TV and you’re like ‘wow, that’s so cool. There’s all the athletes’ so to actually be there is just awesome,” concluded Dick.

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© Francisco Velásquez PDVSA

Tags: Rio 2016, Olimpiadas, Juegos Olímpicos Rio 2016, Brasil