Swimming Ever Since With The Spirit Orcas
Courtesy of AMI: Accessible Media, British Columbia, Canada.
Susan Simmons from British Columbia, Canada has multiple sclerosis and assists Special Olympics athletes with a weekly exercise routine and coaches the Spirit Orcas. Follow along as she leads participants through their exercise.
The Spirit Orcas are a group of developmentally disabled athletes who challenged themselves by swimming in the open water. In July and August last year, Simmons, the Spirit Orcas, and Jasmine Kremer swam over 80 km from Brentwood Bay to Colwood Waterfront Park in British Columbia to raise funds for COVID-19 Relief.
Simmons, who was nominated for the 2020 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, reported, “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).”
She updated the goings on with the Spirit Orcas, “Things are picking up as we move out of the pandemic back to our lives. Things are starting to look up in Canada. I have been in the open water with the Spirit Orcas. A documentary company recently released a video on the Spirit Orcas. It was really quite an interesting process as AMI is a television network that specializes in creating content for visually impaired and blind. I really appreciated their approach. They did a lot of little things to enrich the storytelling making it more accessible to those who are not fully sighted. Aly and Ben are in it.”
Simmons and some of the Spirit Orcas talked about The Great Big Swim on WOWSA Live with Steven Munatones in February 2021:
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