Cherokee kayaker gets community send-off to World Games in Berlin

A Cherokee County athlete competing in the Special Olympics World Games later this month in Berlin received a big send-off Tuesday from his work colleagues and community.

Caleb Guy, 20, arrived at his balloon-festooned workplace to a round of applause and plenty of U.S. flags waving. He signed photos and posed for pictures with well-wishers at the Chick-fil-A along Cumming Highway in Canton.

Everyday Heroes Caleb Guy

Credit: Fresh Take Georgia

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Credit: Fresh Take Georgia

The Georgia athlete was featured in “Everyday Heroes” profiles published last November by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in conjunction with other news partners. The article noted that Guy would be representing Team USA with competition scheduled in both the 200m singles and 200m tandem kayaking events in Berlin. The World Games run from June 17-25 in Germany’s capital.

He has been competing in the Special Olympics since he was 8 years old in different sports, including soccer, bowling and basketball. He joined the Cherokee County Special Olympics kayaking team at its inception just two years ago.

Despite having almost no previous kayaking experience, Guy learned quickly and won medals in his first season of competition. He was selected for the World Games after winning a gold medal in tandem and a bronze medal in individual kayaking at the state competition in Macon in 2021.

“He’s very competitive. He gets that very honestly from his dad and I. He likes to compete in whatever sport he’s doing,” Caleb’s mom, Mollie, told Channel 2 at the gathering Tuesday afternoon.

“We’re cheering you on big time,” a fan told Guy at the send-off at the restaurant where he has worked for nearly four years.

“Can you autograph this for me?” another fan asked.

“Oh yeah,” he happily replied, and he autographed plenty of photos at the celebration.

Fans get autographs and their picture taken Tuesday, June 6, 2023, at the Canton Marketplace Chick-fil-A with Georgia kayaker Caleb Guy, who will be competing in the Special Olympics World Games. (Photo: Channel 2 Action News)

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

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Credit: Channel 2 Action News

“Caleb is a light. A ray of sunshine. When he comes in he has a spirit of bringing joy,” Chick-fil-A operator Kevin Williams told the news station.

Guy told the AJC that he plans to continue kayaking for “a long time” after the World Games because he enjoys the sport so much.