Just a few more days until the start of Rio 2016, Cayman 27 is taking a closer look at each of the athletes set to represent the Cayman Islands. We start with swimmer Geoffrey Butler, who is the first to compete.
When it comes to “how I found out I’m going to the Olympics” stories, Butler’s may be one of a kind.
“I was actually at home, just lazing about the house, just mucking around on my computer” he said. “I got a phone call from Lara, who was out shopping with mum. She was like, ‘Geoff, Geoff, we’re going to Rio.’ I was like, ‘no you’re joking.’ …. That’s amazing.”
This happened only a few weeks ago. Cayman’s Olympic committee says a local dispute delayed the decision to get Geoffrey to the Games through the Olympic universality Programme.
“We were meant to find out almost two weeks before and hadn’t heard anything. We were thinking it was a no,” he said.
But it was a yes. He’s been to major competitions like the world championships and Island Games, but the Olympics is unlike any other.
“It’s a dream come true. I’ve been wanting to go to the Olympics since I was 8-years old and watching Heather (Roffey) swim. It’s a huge, huge deal. And as a swimmer, it’s the pinnacle of swimming. There is no bigger competition. It’s incredible to be able represent Cayman at that level.”
And he’ll be doing so with his sister, Lara, also picked to go to Rio through the IOC Universality Programme.
“If I were ever to go, I knew I wanted Lara there with me. She’s been with me every step of the way. She’s my best friend and so to be there with her, it’s great,” Geoffrey Butler said.
Butler dives in on Saturday (6 August) for the heats of the men’s 400 freestyle.
“I just want to swim a best time,” he said. “I mean, it will be amazing if I can make a semifinal. But realistically, I just want to go out there and swim better than I ever have before.”
We’ll see if he can do just that as he makes his Olympic debut.