TOKYO — Tyra Gittens, who competes for Trinidad and Tobago, finished 10th Tuesday in the women’s long jump, a blip in the frenzy of sports and more on a given day at these Tokyo Olympics.
This was likely just the warmup act for the Paris 2024 Games three years from now. There, many consider her — in the way that Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn won the 100-meter hurdles here Monday — to emerge as one of the Caribbean’s next big track and field stars.
Though Givens competes for Trinidad, she went to college at Texas A&M. She went to high school and middle school in Nashville. Her father, Sterling, is a skilled musician. Her brothers, now in Los Angeles, are talented musicians. Another brother, with whom Tyra was exceptionally close, died just before he turned 13. Tyra’s mother, Debra, runs a cleaning service and the Givens children, Tyra included, have pitched in to help clean toilets. To help raise money to get Tyra to meets so she could one day, maybe, get to the Olympics, the family would hold all kinds of fundraisers, like baking and selling cupcakes, with friends — including one of Debra’s good friends, Amy Grant. That Amy Grant.
“I think it’s so beautiful that she has found the spotlight that has always been hers,” Grant, the singer and songwriter, said of Tyra Gittens.
In a telephone interview, Grant went on, “She is from such a beautiful family.”
Since Tyra has been in Japan, Debra said, “We have FaceTime…