This year’s Butterfield 800 Metres Swim was a memorable one.
The sky was blue, the sun was hot and the sea was flat calm last Saturday afternoon for the 11th running of the competition. Jim Fraser, father of Olympic heroes Shaune and Brett Fraser, served as swim director, giving a welcome and briefing – which for the first time was in both Spanish and English – as the swimmers filed into the water.
The race, which launched from Governor’s Beach and ended at Public Beach, was well attended by local swim clubs and the general public. The names of the top 10 finishers would prove familiar with Alex McCallum taking the top spot overall in 10 minutes and five seconds. Chris Courtis placed second overall in 10.23 and Danielle Booth led the females, ending up sixth spot at 10.53.
There was something “special” about 23 of the athletes and their unified partners. The event was hosted in conjunction with the second Special Olympics Open Water Swim Clinic with athletes and coaches from Mexico, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas as well as from Florida and Virginia in the US.
Cayman’s own top Special Olympic athlete, Andrew Smilley, came in seventh overall, first in his age group and first in the competing Special Olympics athletes at 10.57. Adriana Sotela was the first female Special Olympics swimmer home at 14.06. All participating Special Olympics athletes were presented with participation certificates and trophies to commemorate the occasion.