Régent "Johnny" Lacoursière (born 18 April 1935 in Montreal, Canada) was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1978 as an Honour Swimmer. As an amateur swimmer, Regent won over 300 medals. By the age of 18, he held twelve national Canadian records and was selected to Canada’s National team to swim at the Commonwealth Games of 1954. At age 19, Regent swam his first marathon swim, placing 5th in the 22-mile ocean swim around Absecon Island, Atlantic City finishing in 11 hours 14 minutes. He continued his marathon swimming career until 1975. In 1959, Regent won the 42 km swim in Guayamas, Sonora, Mexico, finishing in 8 hours 22 minutes.
In 1958, Regent started giving private swimming lessons to young children because swimming lessons for children under the age of eight were still not available. In 1963, his daughter Lynn was born and Regent used his own child to perfect a teaching method for babies. In 1966 Regent Jr. was born and a revolutionary baby teaching method became a reality.
Regent was so driven by his need to ‘teach swimming and survival to the babies of the world, he invested his life’s savings, sold his possessions, his life insurance policies and financed his own swimming school because no bank would approve a loan for a swim school. In 1970 he opened the Régent Lacoursière Swim School and over 3,000,000 swimming lessons have been given.
Regent has authored three books on swimming – La Natation de Compétition – J’Apprends à Nager and DROWNPROOFING.
In 1998 Regent received a patent for his Diaper Swim Vest that was voted one of the top ten new products of the Millennium by CBS consumer Reporter, Mr. Herb Weisbaum.
He has created the floating swim collar, the flotation swim suit with 6” Styrofoam insert, the back float – the original King of swimming aids, the back float Flubble, the 6 cube swim belt, the adult swim belt and a complete selection of swim caps and quality UV protection swim goggles for young children through to adults.
Marathon Swimming Career
- 1960 1st place – Lake St. Jean, Qc – 24 miles – 9:30.12
- 1958 – 1972 – 15 consecutive crossings of Lake St. Jean
- 1958 – 59 – 60 & 64 – 1st place, Three Rivers, Quebec – 10 miles
- 1965 – 66 – 67 -1st place, 24-hours of La Tuque, Quebec
- 1963 – 1st place - Northumberland Strait – 10 miles (direct distance of 7.8 miles) – 7:09:10
- 1965 – 1st place – Lake Ontario, Hamilton – 10 miles – 5:10.06
- 1966 – 1st place – Mar Del Plata, Argentina, 32 miles – 17:28.15
- 1966 – 2nd place – Rhode Island – 14 miles – 7:36.30
- 1966 - 24 miles – Capri to Napoli, Italy