Though the first ever Utila Dive Festival wrapped up on Friday night, my gold-medal performance shall live on forever — tiny Utila stepped up to grab the Olympic torch from the recently ended London games with the first ever Scuba Olympics on Thursday morning. Storied athletes from around the island gathered on the beach for grueling events like a paddleboard race — yours truly won my heat, thank you very much — a timed equipment assembly and disassembly, underwater tug-of-war, underwater weight toss and a 40 meter underwater race. My favorite event may have been the fantastic barbecue afterwards though — for athletes like me, refueling is important. I took my SUPing to a new level on a tour through the mangroves with Paddle Utila on Friday afternoon, a great way to spend an afternoon topside.
The festival wrapped up that evening on Chepes Beach, the island's very own Scuba Cowboy (think dive-themed Jimmy Buffett) serenading the crowd. Next year, I'll be taking gold in all the events.