After years of training, preparation and marathon swimming heartbreak, Natalie Lambert is set to take on Lake Ontario one more time. She has tackled some of the worst weather conditions marathon swimmers can face in Lake Ontario, and now with a warm, calm summer Natalie is ready to take on the lake and finally reach the Toronto shoreline.
In August 2007, Natalie Lambert’s first attempt at Lake Ontario was thwarted only 9 kilometres from completion when she faced 3 metre swells and howling winds. Later the same summer she swam across Lake Ontario from Sacketts Harbor to Kingston becoming the youngest person to swim a crossing of Lake Ontario. In July 2008, Natalie became the youngest person, the fastest and the first person to swim across Lake Erie using the gruelling butterfly stroke. Later the same summer, she was pulled from Lake Ontario 8 kilometres from her goal, this time because huge thunder storms blasted across the lake. For the summer of 2009, Natalie had trained and prepared for the elusive lake crossing, but surface temperatures as low as 42 degrees F once again prevented her from achieving her goal.
The traditional crossing of Lake Ontario, continues to elude Natalie, so after another year of intense training, Natalie is set to once again take on the challenges that the traditional crossing of Lake Ontario has to offer. The traditional crossing is completed from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Toronto. It was first swum, and made famous by Marilyn Bell in 1954 when she awed our nation with her heart and determination. Natalie is the same age today as Marilyn Bell was 56 years ago when she completed her crossing and Natalie shows many of the same traits than Marilyn Bell displayed. Natalie has shown intense determination, dedication, passion, and compassion during these past number of years.
Natalie wants to give something to her Y Knot Abilities Programs team-mates, whom she watches face and overcome challenges every day. In what she has named the Swim the Difference Marathon, with a tag line of “Swimming the Distance to Make a Difference,” She hopes to show her team-mates that nothing is impossible while raising awareness for the Y Knot Abilities Programs. If you wish to support Natalie’s endeavour, please go to www.kingston.ymca.ca and click on the Canada Helps button.
Natalie has seen, first hand, the opportunities that have been provided to her, her sister, Jenna, and all the other families who participate in the Y Knot Abilities Programs at the Kingston Family YMCA. The Y Knot Abilities Programs teach young people, with physical disabilities, and their siblings about abilities.
Natalie is very excited about her upcoming marathon challenge, and sees it as an opportunity to show everyone, no matter what their age or ability, that nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself and refuse to allow obstacles to stand in the way of your success. Natalie will climb into Lake Ontario, at Queen’s Royal Park in Niagara-On-The-Lake at 7:00 am on Sunday, July 18th, and should finish 18-20 hours later. Natalie’s progress can be followed on twitter at http://twitter.com/YknotSwim2010 .