Cayman’s Special Olympics athletes returned home from the Special Olympics Summer World Games in Greece in triumph and hordes of people were there to greet them.
Relatives, government officials, teachers and other well-wishers met the team at the Owen Roberts International Airport with flowers, banners and balloons last Wednesday.
Although off-island on official business, sports and health minister Mark Scotland sent congratulations to the “national ambassadors”, as well as their coaches and supporters.
“A medal haul of two gold, five silver and four bronze is very special,” he said. “The fact that all team members achieved their personal best performances at these Games speaks volumes for their dedication — and reflects a truly competitive spirit.”
Scotland added congratulations to the families, volunteers and all who “assist in creating quality in the lives of these athletes”.
Andrew Smilley won the gold medal in Special Olympics International’s first open water sea swim while fellow competitor Mark Ebanks took gold in single bocce in Athens.
Kanza Bodden won two silver medals in aquatics, teammate Quinton Ebanks earned two silver and one bronze in aquatics, while bronze medals were won by Cindy Whittaker and Shanike Ebanks in 200 metre races.
Eleana Ow earned a bronze in single bocce and the bocce team of Matthew Ebanks, Cindy Whittaker, Shanike Ebanks and Andrew Hayles also placed fourth.