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Susan Simmons

From Openwaterpedia
Dale Robinson, Susan Simmons and Jill Yoneda after the completion of the pioneering Great Bear Swim, a 50 km stage swim in British Columbia, Canada
Susan Simmons was nominated for the 2019 WOWSA Awards in the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year category
Susan Simmons was nominated for the 2014 WOWSA Awards in the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year category
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Susan Simmons was nominated for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, photo courtesy of Malcolm Chambers

Susan Simmons is a 52-year-old open water swimmer and coach with multiple sclerosis and a member of the Victoria Masters Swim Club from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and the 24-hour Club.

Open Water Swimming Career

Webinar on Cold Water Swimming


Susan Simmons, Gordon Giesbrecht, Ph.D., and Brian Hunt, Ph.D. talk about cold water swimming, organized by the Vancouver Open Water Swimming Association on 20 September 2020.

Great Bear Swim Day 2 Part 2 in Fisher Channel


Swimming in Fisher Channel, outside of Namu

This year was incredible. My crew spotted a few humpbacks on day one. There were 8 on day 2. We landed in a very special place at the end of day 2.

Outside Namu to Kavi


Burke Channel



Video

Great Bear Rainforest Relay

2020 WOWSA Awards

Simmons was nominated for the 2020 WOWSA Awards in the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year category as follows: In an unprecedented challenging year, Susan Simmons stepped up in a huge way, characteristically with her selfless, humble, compassionate demeanor. The 55-year-old from British Columbia shifted her focus from her own marathon solo swimming career to coaching, mentoring and guiding the Spirit Orcas, a group of Special Olympic swimmers who did an 80 km 8-week stage swim in Canada to raise funds for COVID Relief. Despite living with Multiple Sclerosis, she swam every stroke on the way with the Spirit Orcas in addition to encouraging them and celebrating with them. For safely increasing the distance in her second difficult swim with the Spirit Orcas, for positively dealing with MS while shepherding along her swimmers, for safely achieving her goals with Cheyenne Furlong Goos, Meliah Motchman, Maria Sharock, Aly White, Dixon McGowan, Drew Sabourin, Ben Vanlierop, and Lidia White, Susan Simmons is a worthy nominee for the 2020 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

2019 WOWSA Awards

Simmons was nominated for the 2019 WOWSA Awards in the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year category as follows: Since 1995, Susan Simmons has been living with Multiple Sclerosis, a central nervous system autoimmune disease. Swimming is her preferred form of exercise and she manages her condition with head-on determination. She has raised money for and awareness of this disease and mentored and inspired many to follow her shining example of positive perseverance. The 54-year-old had done numerous marathon swims in Canada, but in 2019, she focused on doing swims in her native British Columbia and completed the Great Bear Swim Expedition 4, a 2-day stage swim]; an 18 km swim down Fisher Channel and across the Burke Channel and a 15 km swim from the Burke past Namu and through Fitz Hugh Sound to Kavi, a First Nations community along the Koeye River. Susan also completed an unprecedented 16 km swim across the Haro Strait from San Juan Island to Victoria on Vancouver Island. For relentlessly training and selflessly mentoring others via positive marathon swimming events, for positively dealing with a potentially debilitating disease and successfully completing a number of cold-water unassisted bioprene swims, and for being an inspirational speaker, role model and advocate in the multiple sclerosis community, Susan Simmons is a worthy nominee for the 2019 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

2014 WOWSA Awards

Simmons was nominated for the 2014 WOWSA Awards in the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year category as follows: Susan Simmons could have viewed her serious medical condition with a fateful resignation. But instead she faced multiple sclerosis with head-on determination. The 49-year-old Simmons from Victoria, Canada began swimming to counter the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis. Slowly starting at first, she gradually developed a tenacious strength of spirit and stunning stamina that she soon developed to reach her untapped potential. She swam and swam further and further, a confidence-building and healthful way to combat her disease. Along the way to completing a 70 km 32-hour swim in Cowichan Lake with Alex Cape, she inspired many, gathered a community of supporters, and created a welcomed identify as one of the world’s toughest endurance athletes. For her development as a marathon swimmer, for her standing up to the ravages of multiple sclerosis, for her plans and preparations to swim 105 km non-stop, Susan Simmons is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year Nominees

1. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil), FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup Champion
2. Bhakti Sharma (India), Marathon Swimmer & Educational Reformist
3. Carina Bruwer (South Africa), Freestyling Flautist
4. Chloë McCardel (Australia), Marathon Swimmer & Coach
5. Colleen Mallon (Ireland), Channel Swimmer & Volunteer
6. Elaine Howley (USA), Communicator, Organizer, Swimmer
7. Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand), Oceans Seven Swimmer
8. Nataliya Fatyanova, M.D. (Russia), Ice Swimming Researcher & Physician
9. Pilar Geijo (Argentina), FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Co-Champion
10. Sharon van Rouwendaal (Netherlands), 2-time European Champion
11. Sylvia Rybárová (Czech Republic), FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Co-Champion
12. Susan Simmons (Canada), Marathon Swimmer with Multiple Sclerosis

2015 WOWSA Awards

Simmons was nominated for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year by the World Open Water Swimming Association along with the following nominees:

1. Andreas Fath (Germany) Swim for Science
2. Andrea Fazio (Italy) Like Father, Like Son
3. Christian Reichert (Germany) FINA World Cup Champion
4. Dan Projansky (U.S.A.) Butterflying Marathoner
5. Jim Clifford (U.S.A.) Oldest Triple Crowner
6. Fast and Frozen by Henri Kaarma (Estonia), Ryan Stramrood (South Africa), Anna Carin-Nordin (Sweden), Patrick Corcoran (Ireland), Zdeněk Thalmika (Czech Republic), Elina Makïnen (Finland) Two-way North Channel Relay
7. Ganga Avahan by by Paramvir Singh, Gullupilli Narahari, Saripilli Srihari (India) Stage Swimmers
8. Jordan Wilimovsky (U.S.A.) Olympian & World Champion
9. Kelly Gneiting (U.S.A.) Sumo Swimmer
10. Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand) Farallon Freestyler
11. Matthew Moseley (U.S.A.) Trifecta Lake-Ocean-River Swimmer
12. Mike Arbuthnot (South Africa) Midmar Mile Founder
13. Nejib Belhedi (Tunisia) Camel Swim
14. Night Train Swimmers by Grace van der Byl, Dave Holscher, Kimberley Chambers, Adam Eilath, Ashley Horne, Vito Bialla (U.S.A./New Zealand) NT300 Relay
15. Oceans Seven Relay by Rick Gaenzle, Chris Kraus, Brian Ross (U.S.A.) Triumphant Trio
16. Susan Simmons (Canada) Swimming with Multiple Sclerosis
17. Swim The Eden Expedition by Calum Hudson, Jack Hudson, Robbie Hudson (Great Britain) Brotherly Wild Swim
18. Team Nadadores Locos by Amy Appelhans Gubser, Kirk McKinney, Les Mangold, John Sims, Jeff Everett, Andrew McLaughlin (U.S.A.) Two-way Farallon Islands Relay
19. The Old Men And The Sea Relay by Don Baker, Dr. Bill Spore, Dave Radcliffe, Graham Johnston, Bob Best, Bob Beach, Norm Stupfel (U.S.A.) Catalina Cruisers
20. The Deep Enders by Jim McConica, Tom Ball, John Chung, Zach Jirkovsky, Tamie Stewart, Stacey Warmuth (U.S.A.) San Nicholas Channelers
21. Theodore Yach (South Africa) Robben Island Swimmer
22. Trent Theroux (U.S.A.) Comeback Circumnavigation
23. Wendy Trehiou (Jersey) Saint Malo to Jersey

Susan Simmons (Canada) Swimming with Multiple Sclerosis
Susan Simmons had a huge goal: to swim for the longest known distance in a freshwater setting. Her chosen venue was Canada's Cowichan Lake. Swimming alongside Alex Cape for the third straight year, Simmons has dealing with an obstacle few swimmers face: multiple sclerosis. She was able to overcome MS to organize this swim, but she had to walk on shore at 44 km with nausea after 21 hours 18 minutes of struggle. She was disappointed for sure, but she is also undaunted. For her unwavering support of her swim buddy who continued to swim to 94 km, for her inspirational efforts as an MS sufferer, and for her continued drive to get back in the water and ultimately achieve her goal, Susan Simmons’ 105 km swim attempt is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.

Swimmers Last Longer

Swimmers Last Longer was a 70 km marathon swimming two-way crossing by Alex Cape and Susan Simmons of Cowichan Lake in British Columbia, Canada. The support crew included:

Honours

  • Simmons was named a 2014 MSF Global Marathon Swimming Award finalist in the Solo Swim of the Year category.

World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women

Simmons was named to the list of 2015 World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women by the World Open Water Swimming Association.

What's Your 105?

Great Bear Swim Video


with Dale Robinson, Susan Simmons, Jill Yoneda

2017 World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women

Simmons was named to the list of 2017 World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women by the World Open Water Swimming Association. The women are listed below, alphabetically by last name:

1. Patti Bauernfeind, marathon/channel/relay swimmer from the USA
2. Carina Bruwer, marathon/channel/charity event swimmer from South Africa
3. Charlotte Brynn, marathon/channel/ice swimmer and coach from New Zealand/USA
4. Jessie Campbell, ice/winter swimmer from Great Britain
5. Kimberley Chambers, marathon/channel/extreme/cross-border swimmer from New Zealand/USA
6. Devon Clifford, marathon/channel/open water swimmer from the USA
7. Jackie Cobell, channel/extreme/ice swimmer from Great Britain
8. Lorna Cochran, open water swimmer from South Africa
9. Olive Conroy, ice/winter swimmer from Ireland
10. Anna DeLozier, ice/winter swimmer from the USA
11. Beth French, channel swimmer from Great Britain
12. Elizabeth Fry, marathon/channel swimmer and event organizer from USA
13. Pat Gallant-Charette, channel/marathon swimmer from the USA
14. Pilar Geijo, professional marathon swimmer from Argentina
15. Ines Hahn, ice/winter/professional marathon swimmer from Germany
16. Jessi Harewicz, marathon/channel swimmer from Canada
17. Mariel Hawley Dávila, marathon/channel/cross-border swimmer from Mexico
18. Bárbara Hernández Huerta, winter/extreme swimmer from Chile
19. Bridgette Hobart, event organizer and marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
20. Elaine Howley, marathon/charity/ice swimmer and writer from the USA
21. Linda Kaiser, channel swimmer, advisor and administrator from the USA
22. Lori King, marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
23. Tita Llorens, marathon/channel swimmer from Spain
24. Marcy MacDonald, DPM, marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
25. Elina Makïnen, ice/winter swimmer from Finland
26. Angela Maurer, professional marathon swimmer and Olympian from Germany
27. Chloë McCardel, marathon/channel swimmer and coach from Australia
28. Tiffany McQueen, ocean/marathon swimmer from the USA
29. Sally Minty-Gravett, marathon/channel swimmer and coach from Great Britain (Jersey)
30. Jaimie Monahan, ice/winter/marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
31. Nuala Moore, marathon/ice swimmer, second, author and lecturer from Ireland
32. Victoria Mori, ice/winter/professional marathon swimmer from Argentina
33. Tina Neill, marathon/channel/backstroker/extreme relay swimmer from the USA
34. Anna-Carin Nordin, Oceans Seven/ice swimmer from Sweden
35. Renata Nováková, ice/winter swimmer from the Czech Republic
36. Magda Okurková, ice/winter swimmer from the Czech Republic
37. Penny Palfrey, channel/marathon/extreme swimmer from Australia
38. Ranie Pearce, marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
39. Cheryl Reinke, marathon swimmer from the USA
40. Charlotte Samuels, marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
41. Susan Simmons, marathon swimmer with Multiple Sclerosis from Canada
42. Kate Steels-Fryatt, polar ice miler and ice/winter swimmer from Great Britain
43. Sarah Thomas, marathon/extreme swimmer from the USA
44. Nora Toledano Cadena, marathon/channel/cross-border swimmer from Mexico
45. Natalie du Toit, professional marathon swimmer and Olympian from South Africa
46. Wendy Trehiou, marathon/channel swimmer from Great Britain (Jersey)
47. Wendy Van De Sompele, marathon swimmer and administrator from the USA
48. Samantha Whelpton, winter/ice swimmer from South Africa
49. Sabrina Wiedmer, ice/winter/marathon/channel swimmer from Switzerland
50. Julia Wittig, ice/winter swimmer from Germany

External links