media_artricles :: 2016
Cleo ready for motherhoodAndre Baptise :: Trinidad Guardian :: 14.08.2016
A woman of steel, gallant, graceful and full of the Olympic Spirit. That in no small way describes Cleopatra Borel, but at a time when this country is crying out for people to lead and become role models for T&T's youth, this inspirational individual yet again demonstrated all the qualities that make her a heroine to girls and boys alike.
Friday was perhaps the crowning glory for 37-year-old Borel, who achieved what she believed about herself, that she could succeed even in testing times and sometimes even against the odds.
Four years ago, a drug cheat denied Borel a chance to automatically reach the finals of the shot put event in the London Olympics. But this time around, that was not the case as Borel not only reached Friday night's final but reached the last eight and finished overall seventh best in the world, with a best throw of the competition 18.37.
Borel's personal best was 19.48 and on the night, she would have needed to have exceeded that mark to have a chance to medal. The eventual winner Michelle Carter of USA, threw 20.63, second place Valerie Adams 20.42 and the third place finisher Anita Marton 19.87.
Borel, a native of Mayaro, which is known for its fishing and oil, was smiling as she spoke, that look of contentment, when you know you have done your best and there are no excuses.
"I am happy. I worked hard to get to this level, I am proud. This was my goal to make it into the top eight. I feel technically I put together the best I could today everything considered," said Borel. "I can retire happily and peacefully ...well I have to talk to coach of course but I believe so."
In life we all make sacrifices, sometimes we regret those sacrifices later on, whether they be at work or at home, for Borel, it was worth it all.
"I was just determined to do my best here in the games, everything was focus on making it to the finals and making it to the top eight and we sacrificed everything for that and I am happy that I was able to accomplish that today," she noted.
However, watch out world, Borel is ready to take her life back.
"I am going to have a life now. I don't know what that means because I have to go find out. Go and see what is out there for me, for me I had to commit 100 percent to track and field to be at this level. I am hoping to look forward to a new life," declared Borel.
"I knew that this year would potentially be my last and I know that I would like to start my own company and start working in my field which is education and health promotion. I have a Master's in Health Promotion," she pointed out, "and we all know how much assistance is needed in the health industry at the moment."
Borel while not wanting to comment on future marriage plans at the moment, believes in family saying "Yes, it would be nice to have kids in the future, when the time is right."
As to the future of the sport in T&T she explained: "The Future is quite good. I have a wealth of knowledge and I think I can continue to contribute to throwing events in T&T and hopefully elevate and help someone else do even better than I did. We have some very talented girls coming up like Cherisse Murray, Portious Warren, Ayana Roach and Chelsea James, who I'm sure could benefit from my experience."
Borel has not ruled out a motivational speaking career which can see her travelling the country and sharing her experiences and messages with students and people of other spheres. T&T's five-time Sportswoman of the Year has this message for her countrymen: "Never give up on your dreams and always put your best foot forward."
The 2015 Pan American Games shot-put gold medallist also expressed her gratitude to the entire population for its support over the years: "I want to thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for all the support throughout the years, it has been by pleasure and privilege to represent you - T&T."
T&T's Cleopatra Borel competes in the final of the women's shot put during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Friday. AP Photo