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Cayman Islands Government

Special Athletes Return

Gold-medalist Andrew Smiley is applauded by his friend Hamish Wood.

Cayman's Special Olympics athletes were today (Wednesday, 6 July) greeted on their victorious return from the Special Olympics Summer World Games in Athens, Greece.

Relatives, government officials, teachers and other well-wishers met the team at the Owen Roberts International Airport this afternoon with flowers, banners and balloons.

Although off-island on official business, Minister of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports & Culture the Hon. Mark Scotland, JP, sent congratulations 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."

The Minister added congratulations to the families, volunteers and all who "assist in creating quality in the lives of these athletes."

The team arrives

Andrew Smiley won the gold medal in Special Olympics International's first open water sea swim; while fellow competitor Mark Ebanks took gold in bocce.

Kanza Bodden won two silver medals in aquatics, teammate Quinton Ebanks earned silver and bronze in aquatics, while bronze medals were won by Cindy Whittaker and Shanike Ebanks (both in 200meter races).

Eleana Ow came fourth in bocce, and the relay team of Matthew Ebanks, Cindy Whittaker, Shanike Ebanks and Andrew Hayles also placed fourth.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Lennon Christian