Butler siblings immersed in Olympic dreams

| 11/05/2016
CNS Local LIfe

Olympic hopeful Geoffrey Butler

(CNS): Training more than a combined 40 hours a week, Butler siblings, Lara, 21, and Geoffrey, 20, started swimming about one year apart and have never looked back. The two now hope all their efforts will result in both of them booking a ticket for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Geoffrey has been competing internationally “to qualify or be invited to Rio”, he said. “In preparing for these competitions I have increased the number of swim sessions I’m doing to 10 per week.”

Sister Lara recalled how she started swimming when she was a little girl. “When I was five years old, my mum attended swimming classes because we lived on an island; she wanted to make sure I knew how to swim and it went from there,” she said.

Now all her focus is on the Olympics. “I’ve been training really hard and competing in various competitions in the hopes to keep dropping my time and reach the qualifying time for Rio,” she said. “I’m giving everything I have into my training in and out of the pool.”

Attending universities in the UK, the two hope to return to Cayman, but first they are determined to make their small island proud.

“It would be an amazing honour to represent my country and wear the Cayman Islands flag proudly,” Lara said.

CNS Local Life

Lara Butler competing at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games

Competing in all individual medleys but primarily the 200m IM, as well as the butterfly, backstroke and freestyle, she has won more than 10 medals in her short swimming career.

“[Competing at Rio 2016] means everything. It is the biggest achievement in swimming, period. Every swim meet and competition leads up to it and it is everyone’s main dream,” she said.

“I have put a lot into swimming and sacrificed a lot to be where I am today and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

Having watched the Summer Olympic Games on television at eight years old, Geoffrey said it is now his time to shine in the 1500m and 400m freestyle.

“Rio 2016 is a dream for me. I’ve wanted to go to the Olympics since I watched the Athens Olympics in 2004,” he said.

“I am so proud to be from the Cayman Islands…Representing Cayman on the stage of the biggest sporting event in the world would be the greatest honour I could ever imagine.”

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Category: Sports, Swimming

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