Chisholm receives more recognition for English Channel swim

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A special Fairview Pool JDRF fund-raising afternoon was hosted on Aug. 17, where Aquatic Superintendent Melissa White presented Meghan Chisholm a framed copy of the Southwest Booster front page feature article chronicling her English Channel swim as a personal memento, and White announced a second plaque will be displayed at the Aquatic Centre.

Meghan Chisholm's efforts in becoming the first Saskatchewan resident to swim the English Channel have brought along some unexpected recognition.

Chisholm was saluted during a special afternoon at the Fairview Pool on Sunday, and she is set to be recognized at tonight's Swift Current City Council meeting. She is also revelling in the fact that her monumental swim on July 22 has touched so many people across the country. Chisholm completed her solo English Channel swim in a time of 14 hours and 39 minutes, where strong currents and heavy waves forced her to swim 48.5 kilometres instead of the 34 kilometre actual distance between England and France.

"I've gotten mail from people I don't know, and from people that somehow know my grandparents from Briercrest. Some people have given me donations and found my address. Some people have been calling me, and I don't know who they are. They just want to talk, say hi, and congratulate me. It's been awesome," Chisholm said during a break from a Sunday JDRF fundraiser at the Fairview Pool. Chisholm also received a personal letter from JDRF President and CEO Dave Prowten saluting her for her swim and fundraising efforts.

She is thrilled to report that her efforts to raise funds for JDRF have jumped to above the $10,000 mark. Additional support can be pledged online at http://jdrfca.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.event&eventID=1736

While she is closing in on the one month anniversary of her swim, Chisholm admits it took until Sunday's recognition event until she finally understood the importance of her accomplishment. Aquatic Superintendent Melissa White presented Chisholm a framed copy of the Southwest Booster front page feature article chronicling her swim as a personal memento, with a second plaque to be displayed at the Aquatic Centre.

"I think at this point it actually kind of clicked to what I did, just having everybody together and I kind of got a little bit emotional."

"It means a lot to be recognized by your community," she said. "It's been a lot to take in, but I'm very appreciative of it."

She has not tired of sharing her story, but she shared that just looking at photos of the swim does not compare to her memories of the achievement. Even photos of her passing within 200 metres of tankers and ferries, or a stunning sunset photo in the final moments of her swim do not compare to the vivid images in her mind.

"The picture doesn't really capture the moment. I remember the sunset was glowing, it was orange, and everything was still and quiet. That moment was the best moment of my life so far."

After completing her summer job as a lifeguard at the Fairview Pool, Chisholm will be attending Medicine Hat College to pursue her Bachelor of Nursing degree.

"I took a year off of school and I haven't been exercising my brain, I've been exercising my muscles, so I'm going to have to switch gears and I'm going to have to focus more on school that anything else."

Organizations: Swift Current City Council

Geographic location: English Channel, Saskatchewan, England France Briercrest

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