Local Swimming Star Makes Waves
Which Breezy Point resident has won eight gold and one silver medal in swimming, is a track and field star, met Mayor Giuliani and still finds time to deliver The Wave? Well, if you haven’t guessed yet, his name is Kurt Cedo. Kurt, a 14 year old who lives with parents Peggy and John, brothers Jonathan and Drew, and dog Angel, just participated in the New York State Special Olympics Summer Games the weekend of June 17-19 and is headed to North Carolina to represent the United States in aquatics at the 1999 Special Olympics World Games.
Originally swimming "just for fun," Kurt says that he started competitive swimming at age 12. He started swimming with the Cross Island YMCA in Bellerose when he was five, under the direction of Jean Dattner and Jacquie Soulier. Now practicing everyday, Kurt has been coached by Pete Scala for the past three years.
This eighth grader, who plans to attend Xaverian High School in the fall, earned the rank of Tenderfoot in Boy Scout Troop 81, receiving badges for life saving, water safety, and mile swim. Kurt has won first place in the Ralph Hartman Disabled Ski Competition, one silver and one bronze medal in track and field, has taken scuba diving lessons, and likes to play basketball and soccer (his coach is Jim Adams, local school board member). Weight lifting is also on Kurt’s activities list, saying that he will "keep on doing it because it helps me swim better."
Kurt will be heading to Chapel Hill, North Carolina from June 26 to July 4 to participate in the Special Olympics World Games. The National Guard will be flying Kurt and the other members to the competition. Kurt expressed his excitement about the competition when he said he "thinks its fun" and focuses on "beating my own time" instead of being the best or winning medals.
There is much more ahead for Kurt Cedo. He is heading to the U.S. Youth Games in Alabama at the end of the summer to represent New York City, under the direction of coach Bob Green, a Belle Harbor resident. He also will be joining the Xaverian freshman swim team. Kurt is excited about his future and plans to keep swimming because he wants "to be a champion and set a good example for other kids."