By Neto Baptiste
National Hero and legendary former West Indies batsman, Sir Vivian Richards, is supporting a call for retired international Oware (warri) champion, Trevor Simon, to be officially recognised at the national level for what he is calling outstanding achievements.
Sir Viv, who was speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show at the time, equated Simon’s achievements to any other athlete who would have excelled at the international level in their respective disciplines.
“I think it’s a huge call and I know you guys were in support as well. What Trevor would have achieved is huge and it’s up there with anything that we as Antiguans would have achieved, so we have to big him up for that. I know you guys would have spoken about him playing against the computer and that in itself is huge, we have some huge individuals living here with us,” he said.
Simon was awarded the Sportsman of the Year accolade in 1999 after winning back-to-back gold medals at the World Mind-sport Olympiad in London. Although the successful warri player had been nominated for national recognition on at least two occasions, the applications were turned down in both instances.
The Antiguan was Oware world champion from 1999 to 2002 and also won all the international tournaments held at MSO London from 1998 to 2000, thus being accorded the title “Oware Grandmaster” by the Mind Sports Council in 1999.
During his international career which started in 1998, Simon won a total of 26 international gold medals and one silver medal. He officially retired in 2021.
In his latest achievement, however, Simon recorded the best score that a human has ever played against the 48Stones database, a super computer designed to be unbeatable by even the best warri players in the world.
Simon, in December, was invited by the game’s developer, Xavier Blanvillan, to pit his skills against the “unbeatable” system and the Antiguan was beaten by just two seeds with the game ending 23-25.