Lara Butler: This could be the end

Story and photos by Jade Webster, CIOC Press Representative

Lara Butler may end her swimming career on a high note after competing at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

“I’m not too sure to be honest. I got a job with KPMG in October and that’s back at home. I might do Master’s classes and stuff but I will just see how things kind of pan out and see where I am at.”

_DSC0463Butler swam the 100m backstroke on Aug. 7 clocking in a time of 1:04.98, a new Cayman Islands national record and personal best, but was not able to qualify to the semi-finals, finishing fifth in her heat.

“I’m happy it was a good swim for me. It was a [personal best] so I couldn’t really ask for much more, it was also a national record.”

Butler who watched her brother, Geoffrey, swim on Aug. 5 in the 400m freestyle, said she couldn’t imagine being at the Olympics without him.

“My brother is my best friend and I couldn’t imagine anyone better to come with.”

“I heard [Chef de Mission] Jennifer [Powery] and Geoffrey, I definitely could understand their voices so that was funny. Right before Geoffrey always goes ‘Lara’.”

Swimming against six others, from Hong Kong, Poland, Sri Lanka, US Virgin Islands and Kenya Butler finished 6th in the heat and 29th overall.

“I just kept thinking, ‘Oh my God’ it’s just the last 25 meters, just finish it. Literally the last 25 meters you could just see it and was like just finish it hard. I couldn’t really see anyone next to me and normally I can so I was saying “Where is everyone?”, but I was happy about it.”

Butler, along with her brother were selected for Rio 2016 through the International Olympic Committee’s Universality Programme, aimed to help smaller countries send athletes to the games even if they didn’t meet qualifying standards.

For a career that may come to an end, the Olympics is probably the best place to say goodbye.

“The Olympics, that is the pinnacle of swimming, this is the best thing, so if I do end I couldn’t end on a better note than this. Watching all the best swimmers in the entire world swimming here like world records being broken yesterday in the heats. It’s pretty incredible.”

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