By Demion McTair. Updated 6:00 a.m., Friday, July 16, 2021, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
Not too long after he was born, Dexroy Creese of Campden Park lost one of his legs.
Now, more than three decades later, the 36-year-old has qualified to represent St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a swimmer in the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Over the years, Dexroy has used determination to counter the effects of his disability, challenging himself to do everything his mind tells him he is unable to do.
Dexroy has been known for his viral dancing and football skills. He has been involved in many physical activities such as gardening and landscaping.
One major physical activity that has challenged him, however, is swimming. Dexroy said that he could not swim at age 16, but then the determination to start swimming just like people with two legs, pushed him to start.
“I used to watch the other guys [swimming] out real far at the beach and I used to wonder how they keep up, and I used to say to myself that I would really like to reach out them places there,” he told One News SVG in an exclusive interview on July 15, 2021.
“I used to sit down at the sand at the beach and watch everybody going out, even guys smaller than me going out and swimming, reaching out far. So, I was like: one of these days, I really have to learn to swim. Then I used to go out [in the water] on a jug under my arm until I got better and better,” Dexroy told One News SVG.
He said there is a rock called ‘Tension’ at Roucha Bay in Campden Park where he and others would climb up and jump into the sea and then swim to shore. It was swimming to and from this rock that he developed some swimming skills.
“I used to do my doggy paddle, then I got to use my hands more, and then the next day I would go a little further and a little further until I got better. That’s where I developed my swimming,” he added.
This determination to swim started reaping unexpected encounters and rewards, some of which were sparked from a conversation with a gentleman who encouraged Dexroy to join the Paralympics swim meet.
But, Dexroy said the size of the pool at Shrewsbury and adjusting to the training were challenging. He said, however, that with determination, he was able to adjust.
These adjustments, after months of training, saw him off to Berlin, Germany to participate in parlaympic world cup qualifiers.
“Berlin was a great experience for me because when I reached out in the outer world and [saw] my name on the big screen, I said thank God, he finally found a way out for me,” Dexroy said.
He added that he told God “yo bring me out here and yo bring me safe, so just help me. Give me health and strength so that I could make the right performance to get a placement to get to go to Japan to represent my country in the way that I want to.”
Those prayers came through and he is now preparing to travel to Japan on August 12 to participate in the Tokyo2020 Paralympics in the 50-meter freestyle para swim race.
Dexroy says he is determined to represent this country well at Japan and that he is giving his all.
But he said training has been difficult and he lacks some resources that would help improve his training experience.
He said that he wants all differently-abled people to know that determination is the key.
“This thing is a mindset thing. If you have one foot or one hand, or any other disability, you yourself supposed to make yourself comfortable and try do things that will motivate you like persons who don’t have a disability,” he said.
“In everything you do, you have to focus and be determined,” he added.