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Rick Goodwin

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On August 27th 1994 36-year-old Rick Goodwin, became the 30 person and the first diabetic to swim across Lake Ontario. His fund-raising crossing for Children's Wish Foundation from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Leslie Street Spit took 27 hours and 6 minutes.

 

In 1985 while serving as an Avionics' Technician in the Canadian Air Force, he was diagnosed with Type II (mature onset) diabetes. Encouraged by the medical staff to take up some type of physical activity and with little or no formal training he started swimming as a way of controlling his blood sugar levels and kept it up for several years. Then in 1987, while riding his motorcycle he was involved in a near fatal motor vehicle collision and again he turned to swimming as therapy for his injuries. Upon receiving an honorable discharge from the Air Force, he moved to Brampton, Ontario, where he joined a local recreational swim center. It was here that he was introduced to the notion of marathon swimming through local fund raising efforts.

In July of 1994, his first marathon attempt was a qualifying swim of Lake Couchiching, which he completed in less than 6 hours, his next successful challenge was Lake Ontario which he completed on August 27th.

A year later, in August of 1995, he attempted to become the first male swimmer to cross the lake North to South, but abandoned his effort after 7 hours, due to failing health.