The Great Bear Swim
I thought it would be kind of neat to honour some of Canada's most senior swimmers this year by reviving their story through a swim. In the 1960s Ocean Falls, British Columbia, a tiny remote community of 3,000 in the Great Bear Rainforest produced half of Canada's national male swim squad. Their coach, Mr. George Gate, later went on to coach a number of our top swimmers and Olympic champions. He also became Canada's coach of coaches.
What does this have to do with Marathon swimming?
Mr. Gate was the Aquatic Director at Point Claire Swim Club when I trained as a youth. He is the person who taught me self discipline and determination - two things a marathon swimmer must have. Although I never swam more than a 400 meter race as a youth I did some pretty crazy workouts, including a 5km continuous butterfly swim, that instilled in me the mental discipline I would later tap into as an adult in the open water..
So in Mr. Gate's honour, and to honour some incredible swimmers who came before me I will be swimming from Ocean Falls to Bella Bella in the Inside Passage. The swim will be staged over two days.
Here's the ask. If you know of anyone who swam for the Ocean Falls Aquatic Club during its rein I would greatly appreciate if you could put them in touch with me. I have started a website where I would like to share their stories so they are not lost through time.