No killer instinct

July 20, 2021

Colin Bailey was in the first New Zealand team to compete in the Special Olympics. He won bronze in the freestyle event at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1983.

He was 22 years old and a very strong swimmer but Lee Bailey, his mother, says he had no killer instinct to make him want to win.

“It took a while to get that killer instinct into him. He was happy just to swim.”

Colin first learned to swim when he was seven or eight years of age on a family boating holiday on Lake Rotorua – and discovered something he was extremely good at.

At Baton Rouge he competed, along with Peter Spijkerman, Brent Busby and Gordon Llewellyn, winning four medals and becoming the first team to represent New Zealand.

Colin no longer swims at Special Olympics events but plays 10-pin bowling and has represented the Hutt Valley at regional and national events.

Caption: Colin loved to swim, then discovered that he could be a winner too. Photo: Stuff Limited