Pamela Dickson is a 56-year-old grandmother of ten who became the oldest marathon swimmer to swim 40.2K across Lake Taupo, the biggest lake in New Zealand, in 13 hours 56 minutes. She is also the oldest person to swim the Cook Strait, proving that her chronological age was less important than the rhythm she has developed for the open water despite conditions that can range from dead stillness to raging turbulence. The massage therapist understands her body – and her vast potential as she scouts the world for her next marathon swims. She develops a profound oneness with her aquatic venues and loves the feeling of the water around her, whether it is an ocean, lake or pool. Despite conditions that can only be described as inhospitable, she never feels like quitting.
For her sense of teamwork with those who support her, her record swims in Lake Taupo and the Cook Strait, and her deep passion for the sport, she was nominated for the 2011 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.
The World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year awards are meant to honor the individual(s) who (1) best embodies the spirit of open water swimming, (2) possesses the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and (3) has most positively influenced the world of open water swimming during the year.
2011 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year Nominees
1. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil) – World Marathon Swimming Champion
2. Pamela Dickson (New Zealand) – Lady of the Lake
3. Elizabeth Fry (USA) – Two Times Makes Double
4. Pat Gallant-Charette (USA) – Nursing Marathon Excellence
5. Pilar Geijo (Argentina) – World Professional Marathon Swimming Champion
6. Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco – A Royal Supporter
7. Marcy MacDonald (USA) – Freestyling Foot Doctor
8. Angela Maurer (Germany) – Mother of Marathoners
9. Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden) – Swedish Aloha In The Channels
10.Diana Nyad (USA) – Inspiration and Determination Redux
11.Penny Palfrey (Australia) – Marathon Swimmer Extraordinaire
12.Keri-Anne Payne (Great Britain) – World Champion and Olympic Favorite