Susan Simmons (27 April 1965) is a 57-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.
- 1 Open Water Swimming Career
- 2 Great Bear Swim
- 3 Webinar on Cold Water Swimming
- 4 Great Bear Swim Day 2 Part 2 in Fisher Channel
- 5 Outside Namu to Kavi
- 6 Burke Channel
- 7 Video
- 8 Great Bear Rainforest Relay
- 9 2020 WOWSA Awards
- 10 2019 WOWSA Awards
- 11 2014 WOWSA Awards
- 12 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year Nominees
- 13 2015 WOWSA Awards
- 14 Swimmers Last Longer
- 15 Honors
- 16 World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women
- 17 What's Your 105?
- 18 Great Bear Swim Video
- 19 2017 World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women
- 20 External links
Open Water Swimming Career
- In 2011, Simmons swam in her first open water ocean swim as part of an women’s relay team of 4 across the Salish Sea, a 34 km crossing in the Strait of Georgia, with a wetsuit.
- In 2011, Simmons completed the 5 km Thetis Lake Swim.
- In 2012, she completed a 10 km English Bay Challenge in Vancouver's Bay Challenge in a wetsuit. She also swam 2/3rds of the Salish Sea Swim.
- In 2013, she swam 34 km across the length of Cowichan Lake in July 2013 together with Alex Cape in 11 hours 45 minutes.
- In 2014, she swam a 70 km double crossing of Cowichan Lake in August together with Alex Cape in 32 hours (Swimmers Last Longer).
- In 2016, she attempted a 105 km triple crossing of Cowichan Lake, but got out after 44 km and 21 hours 18 minutes of swimming due to sickness
- In 2016, she completed the 50 km Great Bear Swim together with Dale Robinson and Jill Yoneda in British Columbia, Canada
- In 2016, she completed the Drifter’s Cove to Shearwater, 10km, first known person.
- In 2016, she completed the Stokes Island to Waglisa (Bella Bella), 23km, first known person.
- In 2016, she completed the Ocean Falls to Stokes Island, 23km, 12C water, first known person.
- In 2017, she completed Great Bear Swim 2017 between Bella Bella and Namu.
- She was named one of the World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women in 2019 by the World Open Water Swimming Association.
- In 2017, she completed a 33 km course across the Juan de Fuca Strait from Dungeness Spit to Victoria, Canada that was ratified by MSABC
- In 2018, she completed Great Bear Swim, Expedition 3, a two-day stage swim in the Great Bear Rainforest in Canada.
- In 2018, she completed a 10 km swim from Lama Pass to Fisher Channel in 10°C water.
- In 2018, she completed a 6 km crossing of Fisher Channel in Canada in 9°C water.
- In 2019, she completed Great Bear Swim, Expedition 4, a two-day stage swim in the Great Bear Rainforest in Canada.
- In 2019, she completed a 18 km swim Down Fisher Channel across the Burke.
- In 2019, she completed a 15 km swim from Outside Namu to Kavi along the Koeye River.
- In 2019, she completed a 16 km Haro Strait from San Juan Island to Victoria, Vancouver Island, ratified by MSABC.
- In 2019, she coached the Spirit Orcas in the Great Bear Rainforest in a 25 km relay.
- In 2021, she completed Thetis Lake, Als 21 for 21, 21km.
- In 2021, she completed Sidney to and around James Island, 14km, first known person.
Great Bear Swim
Webinar on Cold Water Swimming
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
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
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
- Carol Pilon, kayaker
- MJ VanBergen, Chief Safety Officer
- Len Martel, logistics chief
- Barb Kay Peck, paddler
- Bjarne Hansen, paddler
- Danielle Brault, swim coach
- Avila Rhodes of Victoria Masters Swim Club, support coach and pace swimmer
- Keith Kendal of Victoria Masters Swim Club / Navy Masters, support coach
- Judy Newman of Victoria Masters Swim Club, support coach
- Dale Robinson of Infinity Swimming, support coach
- Mike Neill of Tyee Aquatic Club / Human Powered Racing, support coach
- Liz Pharo of Tyee Aquatic Club, support coach
- Clint Lien of Mercury Rising Triathlon, support coach
- Tima Coad of Victoria YMCA Masters, support coach
- John McManus of Navy Masters, support coach
- Pam Loadman, pace swimmer / paddler
- Rod Carmicheal, pace swimmer
- Carol Pal, pace swimmer
- 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
What's Your 105?
Great Bear Swim Video
2017 World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women
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
- Reconnaissance of Future Open Water Swims in British Columbia
- 10 Top Women on a Hot Streak in Open Water Swimming – December 2022
- Spirit Orcas Swim With Humpbacks Through The Lama Passage
- Aly White, Drew Sabourin Complete 10K in the Great Bear Rainforest
- The Great Bear Swim by Susan Simmons – Final Stage: Crossing Fitz Hugh Sound
- Open Water Swimming
- Swimming with the Spirit Orcas
- Spirit Orcas Complete A 21 km Marathon Swim
- Little Touches Go A Long Way In The Open Water
- Supporting The Spirit Orcas
- #SwimGift, Sharing by Susan Simmons
- Sawatsky On Swimming By Meliah Motchman
- Motchman Determined and Persistent to Complete a Marathon Swim
- Swimming Ever Since With The Spirit Orcas
- Spirit Orcas Discuss Tackling Challenges On WOWSA Live
- The Great Big Swim With The Spirit Orcas
- Susan Swims, Al Runs For 21 km
- Susan Simmons, Gordon Giesbrecht, Brian Hunt On Cold Water Swimming
- The Great Big Swim Is On Stage 4
- Susan Simmons Talks Adventure On WOWSA Live
- 2019 WOWSA Award Winners Announced
- Mariel Hawley Dávila Is 2019 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
- Great Bear Swim, Susan Simmons' Journey To Namu
- A Tale Of Two Currents And 3 Tankers
- What I Learned From The Ocean As I Swam To Koeye
- Day 2, Namu Part 2 Fisher Channel
- Day 1, Namu Part 2 Lama Pass
- The Story Of My Swim Across Juan De Fuca Strait
- 2017 World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women
- Swimmers Last Longer
- What's your 105?
- The World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women
- Swimmers Last Longer
- Susan Simmons And Alex Cape Go Long, Go Double
- MS Motivation: swimming across the Strait of Georgia
- MS Victory: swimming across the Strait of Georgia – Part II
- MS Athlete Conquers The Lake
- Susan Simmons On Multiple Sclerosis
- Swimming To Freedom
- Masterful Swimming By Susan Simmons
- 2014 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year Nominees
- 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman Of The Year Nominees
- 2014 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Nominees
- 2014 WOWSA Awards Nominees
- 2014 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year Nominees
- Susan Simmons Keeps Swimming Stronger Longer
- MSF Global Marathon Swimming Award Finalists
- Dr. Nataliya Fatyanova, 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman Of The Year
- Can You Do 105?
- Full Of Guts, Full Of Courage, Short Of Goal
- Alex Cape, Swimming Side-by-Side With Simmons
- 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance Of The Year Nominees
- Alex Cape Swims Go Further And Further Every Year
- WOWSA...Swimmers To Be Celebrated At Big Chill Swim
- 2015 WOWSA Awards - Performance Of The Year Voting
- Canadian Trio To Attempt Great Bear Swim
- Trio Completes Expedition Swim In Great Bear Rain Forest
- World Open Water Swimming Association
- Open Water Swimming
- Marathon Swimming
- Swim For Peace
- Swimming With SS And MS
- Sometimes You Do Everything You Can
- Alternative Digestive Biscuits For The Open Water
- Susan Simmons Bears Down To Deal With MS
- Susan Simmons Had A Whale Of A Time In Canada
- Updated 24-Hour Club
- 24-hour Club…Swimming All Day And Night
- Swimming For More Than 24 Hours
- Turbulent Two-Way Try Across Juan de Fuca
- 2019 World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women
- Spirit Orcas Begin Their Long Journey