Hasely Joachim Crawford was Trinidad and Tobago’s first Olympic Champion. In the Summer Olympics of 1976 He defeated Jamaica’s Donald Quarrie in the 100 yards final for Olympic gold.
Hasely, from San Fernando, showed his athletic prowess in 1970 at the age of 17. He dominated the athletic sprint events in Trinidad and Tobago during the 1970’s in the 100 meters and was very successful in the 200 m. Crawford attended Eastern Michigan University in the Unites stated and gained expert guidance from his college coaches, especially, Bob Parks.
In the Pan American Games of 1975 Hasely finished second in the 100 m. Under the tutelage of Bob Parks he developed into a world class sprinter and was ready for the 1976 Olympics, with his sights set on mining gold in the 100 and 200 m events. Hasely and Parks strategized by limiting his appearance to few races before the Olympics and focus on his training and mental preparation to achieve his Olympic aim.
This strategy proved golden in the 100 m final in a time of 10.06 seconds. The margin of victory over Jamaica’s Donald Quarrie was about 0.02 seconds. However, groin injuries prevented him from reaching the finals of 200 m. Hasley’s success after the 1976 Olympic Games continued at Central American and Caribbean Championships and the Commonwealth Games. His attempts at the finals of the 1980 and 1984 Olympics did not realize any medals.
Trinidad and Tobago has recognized its first Olympic champion on postage stamps, named a stadium is his honour, and bestowed him with the Republic’s highest honor, the Trinity Cross. In 2000, he was named the Trinidad & Tobago Athlete of the Millennium. He is a member of the Caribbean Hall of Fame, along with Ato Boldon and Arthur Wint, one of only three track and field athletes to be inducted.
The Hasely Crawford Stadium, located in Port of Spain, is a fervent reminder that Hasely Crawford is a man of greatness whose memories will live forever.