Para-athletes swim in honor of former U.S. Paralympic Swimming Coach Jimi Flowers

June 28, 2010, 12 a.m. (ET)

The Jimi Flowers Swim Classic kicked off to a teary-eyed crowd Friday, June 25 as “Jimi’s Corner” was finally unveiled.  A quote wall was dedicated to Flowers, the former U.S.  Paralympic Swim Coach, who passed away tragically in a climbing accident in July, 2009. 

Flower’s was known to offer a daily quote of inspiration to his swimmers before practice.  “Jimi’s Corner” displays inspirational quotes and offers space for a new quote to be written each day to help to continue Jimi’s tradition. 

Jimi’s wife, Sue Flowers, said that the display was absolutely perfect.   “It’s hard to put into words but it’s just Jimi!  It’s interactive, its positive, and just gives come talk to me vibes.  It’s positive in, positive out, which is how Jimi lived his life.”

 “It just makes you feel like he is still here” said Paralympian Melissa Stockwell who was coached by Jimi.  “The wall is a touching and appropriate tribute that honors Jimi’s memory in the best possible way.”

Jimi’s son Sam may have said it best when he spoke about the wall to the crowd.  “The sign is awesome and I’m sure my dad would be very proud of having it in here… he loved coaching and he loved all of you.” 

Friday night’s event was an open water 5k swim.  In the women’s division Ashley Owens (Stockbridge, GA.) finished first with a time of 1:19:41.02.  Susan Beth Scott (Cape Girardeau, Mo.) took second with a time of 1:20:37.40, and Elizabeth Stone (Grand Rapids, Mich.) finished third with a time of 1:31:21.1. 

Joe Wise (Menlo Park, Calif.) placed first in the men’s division with a 1:22:41.27.  Second place went to Cody Bureau (Colorado Springs, Colo.), recording a time of 1:24:21.17 and third when to Alex Dionne (Mequon, Wis.) with a time of 1:26:41.66.

Saturday’s competition included 21 different events with over 50 swimmers participating.  Lantz Lamback (Augusta, GA.) broke an American and Pan American record in the 200m backstroke in the S-7 division with a time of 2:51.99.  Cheryl Angelelli (Detroit, Mich.) also broke an American record in the women’s 100 backstroke S-4 division with a time of 2:21.89. 

Sunday's competition included six different events including the 200m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke, 100m Breaststroke, 50m Butterfly, the 200m IM, and the 1500m Freestyle (800m Split).

"The competition was a fantastic way to remember Jimi because it got so many people involved in what he loved" said Dave Denniston, U.S. Paralympic Swim Coach. "Jimi would have been proud of the swimmers as they did a great job of representing U.S. Paralympics."

U.S. Paralympics would like to thank Swimming World Magazine for their live web coverage of the meet.  Please visit: http://www.swimmingworld.tv/events/2010-jimi-flowers-swim-classic

Competition results can be found here: http://assets.teamusa.org/admin/attached_files/27125?ngb_id=15

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