Margaret Park Goes Down Memory Lane On WOWSA Live

Margaret Park Goes Down Memory Lane On WOWSA Live

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Park Family Honor Swimmers in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame

International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame chairman Ned Denison interviewed Hall of Fame Honor Swimmer Margaret Park, a retired swim school teacher in Canada on today’s edition of WOWSA Live.

The energetic 79-year-old former professional marathon swimmer came from a family of swimmers that included International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Swimmers Tommy Park and George Park who she competed against.

She talked about a wide variety of topics including how she raised 3 young children while she was competing on the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation circuit, a pioneer in terms of being a professional athlete and working mother:

* remembering her early years swimming under Jimmy Thompson for the Hamilton Aquatic Team, Quebec, Canada, starting swimming backstroke initially
* following in the wake of her brothers including Tommy Park, a member of the 1940 Olympic Team who swam across Catalina Channel in 1954 and was victorious in the 1955 Atlantic City Around the Island Swim, and George Park who competed in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics
* remembering when Cliff Lumsdon was the best man for Tom Park
* having a constant lifelong passion for swimming
* competing against Marilyn Bell as a teenager
* competing with her brothers for the first time in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada
* beating her brother Tommy in the Hamilton Marathon Swim, a 10-mile professional marathon swim, where 41 swimmers started but only 9 finished. Margaret was the first woman and two of her brothers also finished despite the cold, rough water and eels.
* getting bitten by an 18-inch (45.7 cm) lamprey eel, and using her finger to break the suction of the eel on her skin
* twice competing in the 45 km Descente ou remontée du Saguenay both up and down the Saguenay River between Bagotville and Chicoutimi while she was bringing up 3 young children, the youngest being 2 years of age
* competing in a 30-hour relay at the Expo 67 Montreal in Canada as the only woman, but her teammate only swam 1 mile and then retired. She continued on – never quitting – for the remaining 29 hours as she was inspired by her brothers.
* competing in the 24 Heures La Tuque in Québec even though her teammate quit early
* investing her prize money in small companies to help her family
* starting her swim school, a lifelong endeavor, after competing on the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation circuit
* teaching 2016 four-time Olympic medalist, Canadian swimmer Penny Oleksiak, as a child
* coaching Dennis Matuch in a 42 km coastal swim in Guaymas, Mexico in 1971:

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