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Alec Brice Cox made all of the Cayman Islands proud when he brought home a gold medal for winning the 800m freestyle at the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi. But that isn’t all. He also gained a bronze in the 4x50m medley relay, as well as narrowly missing another bronze in the 1500m Open Water Swim event, when he came 4th.
“I am very proud,” he said, “hard work pays off. It was very exciting going there. It was my first time going to the United Arab Emirates. I have been with the Special Olympics since 2008 but my first World Games was in 2015 when it was in Los Angeles and I competed in Basketball. That’s where I got my first Bronze,” he said.
Alec has been training very hard for many years, really ever since getting involved in serious competitive swimming at the age of 12, back in 2008. “I was coached by Miss Penny McDowall,” he said, “who just passed away. It has been very sad for all of us because she was such a good coach.”
When he isn’t training or representing the Cayman Islands overseas, the 23-year old likes his job at Cayman Turtle Centre which also involves swimming, where he trades in a swim cap for an air tank and scuba gear. He cleans out the algae from the sides of the tanks, and especially from the big windows which enable visitors to look into the Predator Reef where there are two big, but friendly nurse sharks often swimming by. “I’m not scared of sharks,” he says, “unless there’s a Great White!” He does, however admit that the barracuda has made him feel a bit nervous once or twice.
Mr. Tim Adam, The Turtle Centre’s Managing Director, said: "The news of Alec’s great achievement is a huge delight to all of us here at Cayman Turtle Centre. The way his commitment, hard work and practice paid off on the world stage is an inspiration – he has made us and the Cayman Islands proud! We wish him every success in his future endeavors."
Mr. Cox says that he will be training hard for the next Special Olympics in Berlin, in 2023, and hopes to bring home another medal for the Cayman Islands then.
For more information, call the Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter on 345-949-3894, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit us online at www.turtle.ky or find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CaymanTurtleCentre/.