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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Special Olympics Open Water Swimming Clinic Culminates

After three days of constant classroom sessions, POW workouts and open water workouts, the first Special Olympics open water swimming clinic came to a culmination at the 10th annual Butterfield 800m Sea Swim on Seven Mile Beach in the Cayman Islands.

"The athletes have such passion and interest in open water swimming," said Steven Munatones. "Kester Edwards and Maxim Everson rolled out the red carpet for these athletes and coaches. They were like sponges as they absorbed the information - and their performances at the Butterfield Sea Swim showed.

Swimmers like Ross Forde of Barbados were extremely nervous the first time they swim in the sea. But he and his coach Jasper Blades came through like champions, and their smiles at the end of the race demonstrated their love of the sport.

The athletes and coaches shared their concerns and dreams with each other and the Special Olympics administrators throughout the week. Very importantly, they were supportive of each other and they all helped make this week a great success.

Rose Pleskow is a constant, smiling, solid and serious about her swimming. Kadian Ingleton always was making people laugh and helped elevate the ambiance of the clinic.

Andrew Smilley, the global ambassador of the Special Olympics open water swimming community, provided the quiet leadership and support for his friends from around the Caribbean. Locals Kanza Bodden and Hamish Wood were consistent from start to finish and clearly understood their positive affect on their colleagues and new teammates. Alec Cox flew in to represent the Sister Islands of the Cayman Islands as did Mitchell Lopez of the ABC Islands and Curacao.

The final times of the Special Olympics athletes and coaches:

Andrew Smilley 10:27 (5th overall)
Rudsel Maria 16:23
Kadian Ingleton 17:35
Gabriel Heron 18:17
Alec Cox 19:08
Rose Pleskow 20:08
Mitchell Lopez 20:25
Hamish Wood 23:00
Kanza Bodden 23.08
Ross Forde 28:06
Jasper Blades 28:47
Nancy Julia 32:20
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

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