Supporting The Spirit Orcas

Supporting The Spirit Orcas

Susan Simmons from British Columbia, Canada coaches the Spirit Orcas.

The Spirit Orcas are a group of developmentally disabled athletes who challenge themselves with open water swimming. Among their achievements was a 80 km stage swim from Brentwood Bay to Colwood Waterfront Park in British Columbia to raise funds for COVID-19 Relief, together with Coach Simmons and Jasmine Kremer.

Simmons recalled the swim, “Dubbed The Great Big Swim, this incredible group of athletes braved big waves, strong currents and waters as cool as 9°C – all for the love of their community. I continually in awe of these athletes. They have so many challenges in their day-to-day lives, and then to take on this – wow, just WOW. The Spirit Orcas include Cheyenne Furlong-Goos (aka Chey or Cheybee), Drew Sabourin (aka Drewsie), Lidia White (aka Lidster), Aly White (aka Flipper), Ben Vanlierop (aka Benny), Dixon McGowan (aka Benny), Dixon McGowan (aka Dixonator), Meliah Motchman (aka Madame Butterfly), and Maria Sharock (aka Pizza).”

This year, Mexican Oceans Seven swimmer Antonio Argüelles heard about the Spirit Orcas and wanted to surprise them with a special 5-color swim cap made in Mexico. Simmons showed the first group of 3 Spirit Orcas – Drew, Meliah and Lisa – their unique swim cap that just arrived last week:

Simmons also sent a link to a documentary on the Spirit Orcas that was produced by AMI, a Canadian television network that specializes in creating content for visually impaired and blind.

Courtesy of AMI: Accessible Media

Simmons and some of the Spirit Orcas talked about their Great Big Swim on WOWSA Live in February 2021:

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