Surviving the Sea of Life: The Triumphs and Tragedies of an Australian Olympian
From OpenwaterpediaLinda McGill MBE. The 256-page book covers McGill's life, an inspiring victory against fate: surviving her mother's tragic death, a scandalous ban from the Tokyo Olympics along with Dawn Fraser, a near-fatal car accident and a devastating divorce. Then there are the triumphs, including claiming the title as the first Australian to swim the English Channel, record-breaking marathon swims and the honour of an MBE. At times funny and always entertaining, she describes in detail her life with her close friends and swimming legends Don Talbot, Dawn Fraser and Ilsa Konrad. She writes about her world travels meeting the rich and famous, sportstars, filmstars, politicians and millionaires. The final chapter deals with her latest battle against the skin cancer borne from a life lived in the water, in an age unaware of the dangers of sun exposure.
McGill, along with Dawn Fraser, was banned four years by the amateur swimming authorities as punishment for alleged misbehavior at 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. Five months after being suspended, she became the first Australian to swim the English Channel (France-to-England). In 1967, she set a women's record for the swim of 9 hours 59 minutes 57 seconds, a time that came very close to beating the men's record (9 hours 35 minutes) as well. Three months later, she became the first person to swim across Port Phillip Bay in Victoria, Australia when she swam 25 miles from Portarlington to Frankston in 13 hours, the first person to swim around Hong Kong Island, and from Townsville to Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia.