Marilyn Bell Recalls Her Remarkable Teenage Years On WOWSA Live

Marilyn Bell Recalls Her Remarkable Teenage Years On WOWSA Live

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International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Swimmer Marilyn Bell is a dual inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Swimmer in the Class of 1967 and in the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Open Water Swimmer in the Class of 2020

Ned Denison of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame interviewed the Canadian icon on today’s WOWSA Live program. She talked about her career, all accomplished before she retired at the age of 18:

* remembering her first open water swim, a 1-mile swim in sub-10°C water
* joining the Lakeshore Swim Club and learning about lifesaving
* teaching swimming to disabled children with Gus Ryder
* teaching a young girl without arms how to kick and float on her back
* getting inspired by Winnie Roach, the first Canadian to swim the English Channel
* watching and helping the professional marathon swimmers in the late 1940s and early 1950s, serving Ovaltine including Steve Wozniak, Bill Sadlo, Bill Goll, Tom Park, George Park, Greta Anderson, and Patty Thompson
* swimming with Cliff Lumsdon
* discussing the changing of Canadian National Exhibition races and Florence Chadwick in Atlantic City with all the best professional marathon swimmers
* doing a 10-hour test swim to prepare for the 1955 Atlantic City Around the Island Swim and meeting Jim Toomey, finishing in 10 hours 6 minutes at the age of 16 and beating Jerry Kerschner
* recalling the controversial announcement of a 52 km crossing of Lake Ontario in April 1954 that she eventually completed in September 1954 in 20 hours 59 minutes at the age of 16
* learning that Florence Chadwick and Winnie Roach had both been pulled from the Lake Ontario after 9 hours, then subsequently dealing with her own cramps, and getting mad at her coach Gus Ryder in the middle of Lake Ontario while getting tossed around in extremely rough water at night
* finishing her Lake Ontario swim in front of an estimated 250,000 fans and dealing with an overwhelming amount of gifts and mail
* appreciating how George Young dealt with his Catalina Channel victory
* swimming across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, initially planning to swim from north to south, after the success of Amy Hiland and swimming with Cliff Lumsdon and being coached by Gus Ryder on her second successful attempt

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