From OpenwaterpediaWorld Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Award.
The 21-year-old from Grand Cayman is an avid open water swimmer and oft-awarded Special Olympics athlete who specializes in freestyle and open water swimming. He won the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games 1.5-kilometer open water swim in the Bay of Marathon in the Aegean Sea in Greece.
World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
Out of 9,133 votes cast by fans around the globe, 2,086 individuals voted for Andrew, slightly edging out the 2,003 voted cast for the Camlough Team of Ireland.
During that year, Smilley placed 107th in a field of 800 swimmers in the RCP Tiburon Mile where the Special Olympics athlete also placed third in the 19-29 age in the non-wetsuit division in the San Francisco Bay in his first ever cold-water experience.
Special Olympics CEO and Chairman Tim Shriver said on behalf of Smilley, "Far too often, our athletes, athletes with intellectual disabilities, are viewed for what they can't do. But Andrew is showing the world what he can do and we congratulate his effort for being selected as the Greatest Open Water Swim of 2009. Andrew's performance in the RCP Tiburon Mile is just one example of how Special Olympics athletes are accomplishing great things that many just dream to achieve."
The World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year are meant to honor the swims that (1) best embody the spirit of open water swimming, (2) represent the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and (3) have most positively influenced the world of open water swimming each year.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of individuals of every age, ability, background attempt and complete open water swims in every conceivable body of water around the world. Every year is no different - and no swims could have been possible without the tremendous help of escort boat pilots and the watchful eyes of the swimmers' support crews, kayakers, race organizers and safety volunteers.