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Olympians make mark on Farmer's Cay
  
Saturday, 01 March 2014 17:20

Canadian Olympians Conrad Leinemann, right, and Josh Binstock, left, present Arron Brown, center, and Ty’s Sunset Bar & Grill with a signed volleyball. (Credit: Angella Goran)GREAT EXUMA, The Bahamas -- Conrad Leinemann was already on the boat when staff from Ty's Sunset Bar & Grill hollered for him to come back.  Leinemann, a Canadian volleyball player who competed in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, and holds the record for world’s fastest serve at 104.4km, didn't think twice.  He leapt from the boat, splashed through knee-deep water and walked up the beach at Farmer's Cay, Exuma.

Inside, management at Ty's Sunset Bar & Grill asked if the Olympian would sign a volleyball so the employees could place it behind the bar.  Leinemann did one better.  He called over Josh Binstock, a fellow Olympic volleyball player who competed in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and they both signed the ball and presented the keepsake to one of the island's school children.

The touching moment marked the end of a special trip to Farmer's Cay during Grand Isle's Sochi Under the Sun event, held at the resort from February 9th until February 23rd.

"Entertaining these Olympians at Farmer's Cay was amazing for everyone involved," said Tyrone Munroe, the owner of Ty's Sunset Bar & Grill. "We have big plans for this island, and these kinds of visitors show just how big they are."

It was the second time that high-profile guests had visited Farmer's Cay in recent weeks.

On February 11, Canadian Olympians, players from the National Hockey League and hotel guests from Grand Isle also visited the island and engaged in the first-ever road hockey game on the airstrip, located a stone's throw from Ty's Sunset Bar & Grill.  The most recent trip with Leinemann and Binstock also featured a hockey game. This time it was lead by Sami Jo Small, who won a gold medal in women's hockey during the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin. A full set of hockey gear has been left on the island for more games in the future.

The boost in business represents a welcomed change of pace from the tourists heading through the Exuma Cays on boats. While this clientele is important, the small island has big ambitions.  As the restaurant gains in popularity, management recently announced the construction of several cottages and a pool in 2014 or early 2015. Munroe has partnered with Peter Nicholson, who is also an owner at Grand Isle Resort & Spa, to put Farmer's Cay firmly on the map. The two have partnered at both Grand Isle and Farmer’s Cay.

Sochi Under the Sun capped off a busy February for the island. Ty's Sunset Bar & Grill was also the epicenter of the annual Farmer's Cay Regetta at the start of the month.

"We had a few hundred boats come by and could barely keep up with the demand," Munroe added. "With these special events, it is only a matter of time before this island becomes a major attraction in Exuma."

Photo: Canadian Olympians Conrad Leinemann, right, and Josh Binstock, left, present Arron Brown, center, and Ty’s Sunset Bar & Grill with a signed volleyball. (Credit: Angella Goran)


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