Trinidadian, Hasely Crawford was born

On this day in Caribbean history, August 16, 1950, Hasely Joachim Crawford, the first Olympic champion from Trinidad and Tobago, was born in San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago.

Crawford started running track at 17 and competed in the 1972 Munich Olympic Games at the age of 22. In 1976, while competing in the Montreal Olympic Games, he won the Gold medal in the 100 meter sprint, the first Gold medal won by an athlete from Trinidad and Tobago ever. Crawford also competed for his country at the 1980 Moscow and 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. After these Games, Crawford met with further success, winning the 100 meter event at the Central American and Caribbean Championships in 1977.

During his reign as the 100 metre Olympic champion, he also appeared on postage stamps and was awarded Trinidad and Tobago’s highest honour, Trinity Cross, in 1978.This award was changed to the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Crawford went on to compete in a total of four Olympic Games as he also represented T&T at both the Moscow and Los Angeles editions in 1980 and 1984, but was unable to qualify for another final.

In 2000, Crawford was named the Trinidad and Tobago Athlete of the Millennium. The Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain was named in his honor in 2001. He is a member of the Caribbean Hall of Fame, along with Ato Boldon and Artur Wint, one of only three track and field athletes to be inducted.

After his reign, Keshorn Walcott won Gold in the 2012 Olympics in London.

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