Tokyo 2021 #1YearToGo

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Moving the office of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) from the premises of 121 Abercromby Street in Port-of-Spain is inevitable but president Brian Lewis and his staff are taking it in stride.

The owners are in the process of selling the property.

However, the current situation of having to relocate according to Lewis, has not hampered the preparation for the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan.

The premier sporting event was originally set to take place last year but was postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and is now scheduled to unfold from July 23 to August 8.

"We are hoping that, regardless what happens we hope to be here until after the Olympics. We also have plans for the celebration to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the TTOC", Lewis told Guardian Media Sports on Friday.

He said, "I want to make it clear, we are not being forced out. We have a good landlord and over the past 10 years that we have been here, we've made an effort to be a good tenant. We hope we are given appropriate consideration.

"We are not worried."

Lewis added that the working committee at the TTOC has not allowed the current COVID-19 pandemic to throw the organisation off, saying: "Supporting the athletes remain our main focus. Zone out the distractions and not let the uncontrollable distract you. It's about pivoting and not being discouraged and become disenchanted.

Lewis explained that, "Since 2013 when I came in as president, our priority was that the TTOC ought to have its own home. However, the resources at the TTOC, is not infinite. The focus has always been on the athletes, this is why most of our fundraising has been athlete-centred like the Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund (which was established in 2015) and bonuses."

"Nothing happens before its time," said Lewis, whose committee's support for the national athletes has remained rigid during the pandemic.

He pointed that, "We got good news with the introduction of vaccines. Now with the new variant of the COVID, there is uncertainty but we are staying focused."

Lewis, who is also president of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) said now it's about tapping into its fundraising ability and "not being afraid or fearful of the move toward the committee owning its own home".

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