(CMR) Cayman's first swimming World Champion, Jordan Crooks, was given a warm welcome home on Monday when he arrived at the Owen Roberts International Airport from the FINA World Championship in Melbourne, Australia.
The Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage (MYSCH) organized the official welcome for FINA Men’s 50M Freestyle World Champion.
Crooks (20) made history on Saturday, becoming the first Caymanian swimmer to win a gold at a World Championships. His record-setting 20.46 for the 50 freestyle edged out Britain's Benjamin Proud by 0.03. This is Cayman's first gold in both the long and short-course world championships.
Following winning the event, the swimmer said, “It feels great. I am really grateful for my God, my coaches, my family, and everyone who has helped me along this journey. It means a lot to see this come to light. This is awesome.”
Bernie Bush, Minister for Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage, has described Crooks's performance as an early Christmas gift for all Caymanians.
“Now officially the fastest man at this distance, this young Caymanian’s stellar achievement on the world stage has come from hard work and dedication over many years,” he added.
Crooks, from Prospect, stepped onto the tarmac at Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) this afternoon following a two-day journey from the World Championships in Melbourne, Australia, in time for Christmas.
Joining the Minister for Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage, Hon. Bernie Bush, in this historic welcome, was the Hon. Premier G. Wayne Panton, Deputy Governor Hon. Franz Manderson, Deputy Premier Hon. Christopher Saunders, Minister Hon. Sabrina Turner, Parliamentary Secretaries Ms Heather Bodden and Mr. Isaac Rankine and Deputy Speaker Mr. Dwayne Seymour. Other senior government officials, as well as a host of enthusiastic supporters, welcomed Crooks home, many wearing Cayman colors and waving the national flag.
The Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage is hosting a public reception in honor of Crooks later this week. The event takes place at Heroes Square on Wednesday, 21 December 2022, 5.30 pm – 7.30 pm, and will feature a meet and greet opportunity with the swimming sensation, including an autograph signing session.