Vicki Keith

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Butterflying Vicki Keith
Vicki Keith Munro of Canada was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honour Swimmer in 2003. She completed an incredible number of record swims including swimming 69K (43 miles) in a pool in 24 hours in 1990 and is a multiple time member of the 24-hour club. During 1989, she swam butterfly across the 35K (20.4-mile) Catalina Channel in 14 hours 53 minutes, 51.5K (32 miles) of butterfly in 31 hours across Lake Ontario, 28.9K (18 miles) of butterfly in 13 hours in Lake Winnipeg, 32K (20 miles) of butterfly in 14 hours in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, 23 hours 33 minutes of butterfly across the English Channel, and 22.5K (14 miles) of butterfly in 13 hours 30 minutes in a circumnavigation of Sydney Harbour.

Other marathon swims completed by Vicki included swimming across all 5 Great Lakes during the summer of 1988, the first double crossing of Lake Ontario in 1987 and a continuous swim in 1985 of 100 hours and in 1986 of 129 hours and 45 minutes in a pool.

She currently holds 16 world records and has received over 41 honours and awards and has raised over C$1 million to help children with physical disabilities. Retired from marathon swimming since 1991, Keith continues to raise awareness and funds for programs and projects to help children with physical disabilities and makes public appearances as an inspirational speaker.

She came out of retirement to attempt a new world record on August 5, 2005. Her goal was to swim 84 km (52 miles) from Oswego, New York to Kingston, Ontario. However, her attempt was cut short due to high waves. Just before leaving the water, she was averaging only one kilometer an hour because of waves more than two meters tall. If Keith had continued, the wind and waves would have added 30 more hours to her expected 48-hour swim.

Two weeks after her unsuccessful attempt, Keith was back in the water. This time the route was a shoreline swim that saw her travel from Point Petre in Prince Edward County to Long Point, then diagonally to the north shore of Amherst Island, along Amherst Island to Griffin Point, across to Fairfield Park and then along the shore to Lake Ontario Park. She completed 80.2 kilometers, setting a new world record for distance butterfly. The swim, originally predicted to take 48 hours, took 63 hours and 40 minutes (over 2½ days). Keith had to fight high winds and waves, strong currents, cold temperatures, and hallucinations as she pushed beyond what most believed feasible to accomplish her goal.

The end of the Leslie Street Spit in Toronto has been named Vicki Keith Point in her honor. This is place where she made most of her landings after crossing Lake Ontario.

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