Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Gem In Lake Ontario

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.

Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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