Wojcicki hits 80 with a splash

The Flowers Sea Swim boasts that participants range in age from 8 to 80 years old and for one man who this weekend reaches that upper milestone, swimming the event is the best possible way to celebrate his birthday.  

Mario Wojcicki turns 80 on Saturday, the day of the Flowers swim, and he cannot think of a better way of marking the day with family and friends.  

The swim starts at the Ritz-Carlton and finishes at Royal Palms. The world’s richest open water swim attracts novices and first-timers to gold medal Olympians and world championship open water specialists.  

Canadian-Slovakian Wojcicki falls somewhere between those abilities and said he is very excited to come to Cayman from his home in Ontario for the one-mile event.  

He loves swimming it because all 900 participants swim together and the fact that it’s world renowned and so well organized by Frank Flowers and his daughter Dara Flowers-Burke. 

Brothers Shaune and Brett Fraser will be swimming, as well as Heather Roffey, another Cayman Olympian.  

Wojcicki’s daughter Dagmar points out that her father is still extremely active: “My dad was a skier growing up in the mountains in Europe, so swimming is not his sport. But he loves it. He was skiing this past winter, which made him happy and now he will swim. 

“He won’t be breaking the world record, but he will finish before the cut-off time of 75 minutes as long as the sea conditions aren’t very tough.” 

She added that “he doesn’t know the phrase ‘I can’t,’ as he believes ‘everything and anything can be accomplished if one only tries.’” 

Mr. Wojcicki is a semi-retired denturist who is a musician and artist in his spare time. He hopes to soon have more time to paint which is his passion. 

As always, the Flowers swim will have random prizes and more than $100,000 in cash.  

The odds to win a random prize are one in five and previous giveaways have included BlackBerrys, Ipads, hotel stays and dozens of airline tickets to destinations such as Miami, New York, Panama, Rome, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, London, Dublin, Rio De Janerio, and Toronto.  

All finishers receive a T-shirt and goody bag filled with prizes. 

The Walk & Watch program will also be offered again which is ideal for the non-swimmer. 

All registration proceeds are donated to the Feed Our Future charity, which provides healthy meals to needy school children in the Cayman Islands. 


Mario Wojcicki turns 80 on Saturday.


Big Kahuna and Frank Flowers always do the swim.


The Flowers Sea Swim is the world’s richest open water swim. – PHOTOS: RON SHILLINGFORD