Paolo Cerizzi is no stranger to handcuffs and swimming. At the Flowers Sea Swim, he took that union to another level.
Cerizzi, nicknamed the ‘Dolphin Man,’ set a Guinness World Record by swimming the entire one-mile swim with his hands and feet in handcuffs. The Italian, who spoke to local reporters in broken English, states he had to fight through intense pain.
“I was dead tired and I had to change directions,” Cerizzi, 38, said. “I had cramps 15 minutes in. I knew it was a Guinness record and I was going for the record. I went a mile with that and I did it all with cuffs on my arms and legs.
“It was more than I expected with cuffs on my ankles. There are a lot of rules; you need timekeepers for Guinness and then you have to send video and timekeeper statements to Guinness.”
Cerizzi was visibly exhausted at the finish line, needing two locals (one of them being community figure Derek Haines) to help take off his cuffs. Born Cerizzi Paul Eros, the long distance swimmer crossed the Italian lake Maggiore in July 2010 using only the butterfly stroke for about 2,500 metres. He also swam the famous Strait of Messina wearing handcuffs for 3,162m last September, which is believed to be a Guinness World Record for the “furthest swim wearing handcuffs.”
Cerizzi, who only started swimming competitively in 2005 at age 31, got a surprise gift for his efforts. At the closing ceremony, Minister of Community Affairs Mike Adam presented the first-time visitor with a Cayman Coat of Arms, made of Caymanite. Cerizzi vows to be back next year.
“I hope you all enjoyed my swim and I hope to be back next year. I’m not sure what I can do to increase the difficulty of my swim but we’ll see what I can do.”