After months of training, 27-year-old, Meliah Motchman successfully swam five kilometres at Thetis Lake on Monday.

“It’s the first person that I know of in Canada to swim a five-kilometre swim that has Down Syndrome,” Susan Simmons, Motchman’s swim coach, said.

Susan Simmons has been Motchman’s Special Olympics swim coach for over six years.

Two-years ago, Motchman decided she wanted to become an open water swimmer and with the help of Simmons, she completed an 800-metre swim.

Just last winter, Motchman decided to reach even bigger.

“Her goal was to become an open water swimmer, so I said how far do you want to go, and she said five kilometres, so I said let’s do it,” said Simmons.

They trained in all kinds of conditions from ocean swimming, three to four foot waves and water as cold as 10 C.

All this training that led to Monday’s event.

After almost four hours of swimming, Motchman made her final strokes to shore with friends, family and even strangers cheering her on from land.

“I’m so proud of myself…and Susan’s proud of me,” Motchman said.

Motchman said she is going to continue swimming and inspiring others. Next time, she plans to swim a little bit farther.

 

Andrea Ferrari