One of the Great Open Water Swims of the Year nominees is the incredible 19 hour 59 minute 52K crossing of Lake Ontario by the courageous and precocious 15-year-old Jade Scognamillo.
Certified by Shelagh Freedman of Solo Swims, Jade raised $35,000 for an incubator for the Neonatal Unit at the Hospital for Sick Children.
Jade had to delay her start until later than she planned due to a storm front and swimming at night made her more than uncomfortable, "I was very delirious. I was really dizzy." But like marathon swimmers everywhere, the morning sun was a greatly welcomed sight, "I've never been so happy to see the sun in my life."
But her training was solid - swimming 8-12K daily in addition to strength training drills such as treading water with a 20-pound weight. Her strength surely helped her towards the end of her swim when she encountered a strong wind and five-foot swells for the last 90 minutes when she used a bit of breaststroke. "I like waves, but not so much at the end of my swim. My muscles were so weak, I couldn't lift my arms."
Her victory surely lifted the spirits of everyone who witnessed Jade's incredible effort.
Photo and information by Bill Rea.