Gymnast Raegan Rutty, 19, and swimmer Jillian Crooks, 15, opened competition for the Cayman Islands Olympic team this past week, both debuting and, respectively, making history at the Tokyo Games.
First up was Rutty, who competed Saturday 24 July, which officially made her Cayman’s first ever gymnast at the Olympics.
Rutty finished 80th in the All-Around with a score of 39.615. “I finally got to live out my dream,” Rutty told the Cayman Compass. “Just competing and representing the Cayman Islands was completely and utterly incredible.”
Individually, she finished the floor exercise 82nd with a score of 10.633. She went on to place 84th in the vault with 12.133, 87th on the uneven bars with a score of 8.566 and 91st on the beam with a score of 8.283.
“I’m so proud of myself for sticking through for 15 years, to finally accomplishing my dream and making every one at home proud and just glorifying God through it all,” she added.
Up next was Crooks who hit the pool Wednesday, 28 July for what would be a record-breaking performance. Crooks finished second in her heat of the women’s 100-metre freestyle with a time of 57.32 seconds, 0.13 seconds behind heat winner Mia Blazhevska Eminova, of North Macedonia. The time shatters Crooks’ previous national record of 58.08, which she set earlier this year.
“[It was] her first appearance at the Olympics but we are sure it won’t be her last as she is one determined young lady”, a post on Crooks’ public Facebook page read.
Fellow swimmer Brett Fraser is set to compete next for Cayman in the first round of the men’s 50-metres freestyle on Friday, 30 July.
“[I] can’t wait to cheer on my teammate Brett Fraser on Friday. Brett has been so supportive. My first Olympics and to have him by my side as I went out to represent Cayman meant a lot and was very special for me. Now it’s my turn to support him,” Crooks said.