Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sport: Swimming Home

former 50m Swiss freestyle world record holder Dano Halsall “is in the island trying to discover his Jamaican roots and culture.” A few years ago, interviewed by Coopération, he explained "My father was Jamaican, but unfortunately, I do not have any ties with Jamaica. I will be 50 years old in February and I have never been to my country. I do not know my roots and I feel this lack today.” He expressed the desire to go to Jamaica and get to know the country as an insider; so he decided to make I happen. See excerpts here and access both articles in the links below:
The 53-year-old Swiss hero is the son of Jamaican Conrad Halsall and the cousin of successful businessman Doug Halsall, the CEO of IT services company, Advanced Integrated Systems Limited.
Halsall would like to meet swimming sensation Alia Atkinson, athletics great Usain Bolt, and visit the Bob Marley Museum — the late reggae icon being his hero. “The purpose of my visit is to meet my family, my roots actually, because I have never been to Jamaica before. This is the first time,” said Halsall, who broke the 50m freestyle world record on July 21, 1985 as a 22-year-old.
“I am going to turn 54 in a few weeks, and three months ago I didn’t even know I have a big family here. And thanks to Facebook someone contacted me and I discovered that I have a big family. So it is very emotional for me,” he told the Jamaica Observer from the posh Norbrook home of his cousin Doug.
“My father was born in Brown’s Town and lived in Montego Bay. He gave me the love of sports. When I was young we watched Muhammad Ali fight and watched the Olympics. I started swimming when I was eight and he was always behind me encouraging me, and he always said I was special. I was Jamaican, so I was special,” Halsall revealed.
Halsall, who has a Swiss mother, is an 86-time Swiss champion, 92-time Swiss national record holder, with 58 wins in FINA competition. [. . .]

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