Brazilian Olympian inspires Cayman swimmers

| 04/04/2017
CNS Local Life

Swimming clinic with Nicolas Nilo Cesar de Oliveira

(CNS Local Life): One of the world’s best 200 freestylers, Brazilian Olympian Nicolas Nilo Cesar de Oliveira, held two clinics for competitive swimmers in Cayman on Saturday, 1 April. After those sessions, he attended an evening event where he shared his unique journey to becoming one of the best in his sport, stated a Stingray Swim Club (SSC) press release. “The timing for Nilo’s clinics and inspirational talks could not have been better,” said David Pursley, head coach of the SSC, which organised the events.

“As we head into our championship competitions next month Nilo was able to share with our swimmers his racing strategies and pre-racing routines. He gave them advice on handling pressure and preached a method of swimming within yourself regardless of external factors.

“His advice no doubt struck a chord with some of our swimmers and will help them as they head off to unfamiliar territories under immense pressure. He ran two clinics for appropriate age ranges and gave great technical advice from a different perspective. Sometimes describing a technical change in a slightly different manner and from a different voice is all a kid needs to make the same difficult change they have been working at for months.”

The evening event started with a screening of the movie, The Black Line, followed by Oliveira relating his story and taking part in a question-and-answer session. The film documents the journey that people of colour have taken to break into the world of competitive swimming as well as raises awareness of the high incidence of drowning within the African-American community. The movie featured Caribbean superstar swimmers, including Cayman Olympians, brothers Shaune and Brett Fraser, sharing their stories of success and the experiences they have had as black swimmers on the elite international scene.

Oliveira told those gathered about coming from a lower socioeconomic background than any of his peers in swimming. His parents made great sacrifices to help him pursue the sport at a young age.

At 17 he moved to the US on his own to further his swimming career and, against all odds, taught himself English, dealt with his mother’s passing, passed the college entrance exams, and was accepted to the University of Arizona on a swimming scholarship. He has gone on to compete in three Olympics, won international medals and broken South American records.

Pursley added, “We are blessed here in Cayman to have opportunities such as these come around each year. I hope that we never take them for granted and that everyone involved walked away from the event feeling empowered.”

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Category: Sports, Swimming

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