Special Olympics Cayman Islands (SOCI) athlete Andrew Smiley was awarded a certificate and badge of honour Thursday (28 March) as part of a reception for The Royal Visit held at Pedro St. James Castle.
Accompanied onto the stage by Special Olympics Cayman Islands Unified Basketball Head Coach Fareed Hosein, Smiley bowed to His Royal Highness Prince Charles of Wales who adorned the medal onto the 5-time Special Olympics athletes lapel, as well as exchanging a few words of encouragement.
“The Prince asked how I was doing, if I was doing good in Special Olympics, and I told him yes,” said Smiley in an interview with Cayman 27 during a live broadcast of the event. “He asked if I was going to help out the kids, and I told him I was going to do that too.”
Smiley has competed in five Special Olympics World Summer Games, winning gold in both the Open Water in 2011, and in Unified Basketball in Abu Dhabi this month. The 29-year old was selected to play in the 8th Annual NBA Cares Unified Sports Game as part of the 2019 NBA All-Star Game.
Smiley also mentors other Special Olympics athletes as part of the Special Olympics Athletes Leadership Programme.