Abrahamson: Tenth, sad but not disappointed – because the love of family is so sweet


When the Gittens children were young, they lived in Trinidad. When Tyra was of college age, the family moved to Nashville – the father is a famous name in Trinidadian music circles, and he worked in the United States as a gospel singer and music producer. Debra started a cleaning business, Sterling Clean.

Debra still has many of the same customers she did when the company first opened 20 years ago, and here’s why – if the coat needs dusting, the rule is all items should be picked up, not just dusted. Why?

Excellence in all things.

Because that’s how we change the world.

In the choices we make.

Grant said, referring to Debra Gittens, “We are both dynamic women who want the world to be different because we are there.”

“I wanted,” said Debra, “to model a standard of excellence for our children when they worked in our company. Including cleaning of toilets.

“The things I learned from working with my parents – the kind of integrity to do this job,” Tyra Gittens said. “It’s amazing. My mom is a humble woman. Meeting my mom you would never know. She is highly educated.

“To this day,” she said, “I would drop anything for my family. My parents are my world. My family is my world. “

When he was younger, Tyra Gittens’ father had a weakness for the track. When it turned out that her daughters too, they could – and would – spend hours together having fun, exercising, running.

Especially Tyra – her family nickname as a little girl was Squirrel. (And maybe still with his father.) After Scrat, the saber-toothed squirrel from Ice Age.

“I had a passion for the track,” said Tyra. “All the other stuff, maybe I was good at it. I had a passion for the track.

“We have a sign on our street that says, ‘Congratulations, Tyra Gittens, 2021 Olympian,’ Debra said.“ And people come up to us and say, ‘Is that the girl that used to run in the street? ‘ They remember her running down the street with her father.

In high school, she set all kinds of records. Ditto at Texas A&M.

Truth be told, she might be better in heptathlon – the multi-event discipline – than in the long jump.

But it was in the long jump that Tyra Gittens qualified for the Olympics, and here in Tokyo she reached the final.

Late Tuesday, reflecting on her 10th place finish, she said: “I wish it had gone better. But everything happens for a reason.

She explained that on the catwalk, she felt like she was a freshman at A&M. “I didn’t have the experience of all seniors and juniors.

“It was an incredible experience. I’m happy to have an Olympic final under my belt.

She said she had already been in touch – of course – with everyone at home, adding: “Everyone loves their family. Not everyone can have the kind of connection I have with my family.

“I’m sad,” she said. “But I am not disappointed.

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