Saskatchewan teen Meghan Chisholm has made it into the history books this week for swimming the English Channel, all to raise money and awareness for diabetes.
Saskatchewan local Meghan Chisholm crawled to shore after the mammoth 14-hour swim, her legs struggling to carry her as she emerged from the water.
The 19-year-old lifeguard from Swift Current crossed the English Channel from Dover to the French coast in 14 hours and 39 minutes on Tuesday, 70 years after her grandfather had joked about swimming across during World War II.
“I remember standing on Cap Griz Nez and talking to an old buddy from Winnipeg. I said, ‘Johnny, do you think we could swim that?”‘ former deputy police chief in Regina and war veteran Denis Chisholm recalled.
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“You could see the white cliffs of Dover. It was a beautiful day.
“We were just kidding around. We were in the middle of the war. And England looked very enticing with the white cliffs.”
He never could have guessed that his granddaughter would be the first Saskatchewan to swim that very channel.
“It’s quite a swim,” the proud grandfather beamed. “I’m so happy she made it.”
At 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning, the young swimmer took to the water and swam for the French coastline.
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The 48 km distance was the least of her troubles, though; there were also 3-metre-high swells and the jellyfish to worry about.
— Jordan Jackle (@bornofajackle) July 23, 2014
Soup, banana and other high-carbohydrate foods passed to her in plastic bottles kept her going but things were far from smooth sailing; just 10 km from France, Chisholm was forced to swim against the tide.
“Am I swimming in circles? Where are we going?” Chisholm recalled of her swim. “I actually missed the tide to bring me in, so I was going against the waves.
“The last four kilometres seemed like an eternity,” she said.
The total distance covered by Chisholm was 48.6 km, 14 km more than planned because of the tides.
She’s made it into the history books, but beyond her personal achievement, the swim was completed for a good cause with Chisholm raising more than $9,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. What a champion!
Which other Canadians have inspired you this week?