Special Kids On A Wednesday

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Did you hear of this 7 year old, who swam from Alcatraz Island to Aquatic Park in San Francisco? SEVEN YEARS OLD!!!! This is a swim that people have died trying to do! And he is a second grader!

His name is Braxton Bilbrey and he is from Glendale, Arizona. He covered the 1.4-mile swim in 47 minutes and is believed to be the youngest to ever make the swim.
Braxton made the swim seven months after it was completed by 9-year-old Johnny Wilson of Hillsborough. Wilson swam th
e distance in just under two hours.

Braxton's coach, Joe Zemaitis, said Johnny's accomplishment was an inspiration for the Arizona youngster.

"He read about (Johnny) in a magazine in January, told me he wanted to break the record, and asked me if I thought he could do it," Zemaitis said. "I told him that if he was willing to train for it, he could probably do it."

Most 2nd graders are hoping to get a new video game...this kid now wants to take on the British Channel! He trained 2 hours a day, 4 days a week to accomplish this goal. Pretty impressive if you ask me...An interview with Braxton:

Not to let him be pushed aside, Johnny Wilson made his swim for an important cause...to raise money for Hurricane Katerina survivors.

Johnny, a fourth-grader from Hillsborough, took a predawn boat ride to Alcatraz on Columbus Day 2005. He jumped into the 53-degree bay water and swam to Aquatic Park, 1.4 miles away, becoming one of the youngest swimmers ever to accomplish the feat.

When asked what he thought of the swim after training in the bay for months, Johnny said, "It was a lot harder. It was a lot wavier."

When he said he was tired, his father whisked him off to a shower, and the young athlete declined further interviews.

Johnny had the help of his friends to accomplish the second part of his goal -- to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Together, they collected about $30,000 for the cause.

Two other remarkable swimmers:

On July 16, 9-year-old Wyatt Oerman of Centennial, Colo., completed the 13th annual Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim in 39 minutes, 39 seconds, placing 29th out of 800 participants.
According to David Horning, executive producer of Enviro-Sports Productions, which conducts the event, Oerman was the youngest participant ever -- and swam without a wet suit.

Isabel Flax, 10, of Mill Valley also made the swim on Sept. 10.

Maximiliano Arellano, of Mexico City, has been studying medicine on his own and has become an expert in osteoporosis, diabetes and anemia. His wish is to go to college at Mexico Medical State University to continue his studies. Administrators there have declined to allow the young man to enter school and now his mother has petitioned the Mexican Courts to force the school to allow Max entry.

Why all the fuss? Well, Max is only SIX YEARS OLD! Alejandra de Noe, Max's mom, feels he could be a qualified doctor by the age of 13 and has asked the courts to overrule the schools decision.

Maximiliano Arellano , 6, speaks to medical students at Estado de Mexico University on Thursday, April 27, 2006. With medical students more than three times his age listening in astonishment, little Maximiliano calmly informed them that osteoporosis "is characterized by a decrease in the density of bone mass, and the affected bones become more porous and break more easily than normal bones". (AP Photo/Agencia MVT, Mario Vasquez)

Keep that spark of insanity kids...It helps keep you an individual.

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4 Of Your Sparks

  1. robsg1rl Says:
  2. OMgosh! I get excited if my kids make their beds before I have to tell them to. LOL
    These are amazing stories!! I anticipate that Max will be a success no matter what the Mexican government says about him now.

  3. robsg1rl Says:
  4. OMgosh! I get excited if my kids make their beds before I have to tell them to. LOL
    These are amazing stories!! I anticipate that Max will be a success no matter what the Mexican government says about him now.

  5. 2sueann Says:
  6. Wonderful article about the kids! Wish I had several of my own! It is always awesome to hear of the "wonders" accomplished by children. You go MAX!!!!!

  7. Angell Says:
  8. Thanks for the wonderful information. You're a fountain of knowledge. These kids are marvels. I hope Max and his mom win their case.


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