Susan Simmons, Gordon Giesbrecht, Brian Hunt On Cold Water Swimming

Courtesy of Vancouver Open Water Swimming Association.

Susan Simmons, the Canadian marathon swimmer and coach, is busy managing her own career and leading other swimmers like the Spirit Orcas, a group of swimmers who did a 80 km stage swim in the Salish Sea.*

She said, “There is so much going on in the world these days, I often find myself overwhelmed. The cools waters of Strait of Juan de Fuca have become a place of healing. I have been using cold water dips to help manage not just my multiple sclerosis, but also my mental health as of late.” She made a presentation together with Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht (aka Dr. Popsicle) and Dr. Brian Hunt, a biological oceanographer and expert on our waterways of British Columbia. VOWSA or the Vancouver Open Water Swimming Association served as the host and recorded the event so others might view it and learn about cold water swimming and some of its safety practices.

Dr. Giesbrecht operates the Laboratory for Exercise and Environmental Medicine where he studies human responses to exercise/work in extreme environments. He has conducted hundreds of cold water immersion studies that have provided valuable information about cold stress physiology and pre-hospital care for human hypothermia. Other research interests include human physical and mental performance in other stresses such as altitude (hypoxia) and diving (hypobaria).

Dr. Hunt is a biological oceanographer with broad interests in the structure and function of pelagic ecosystems. His research has focused on plankton dynamics, the response of these lower trophic levels to bottom-up forcing by climatic and oceanographic conditions, and the implications of this response for mid-trophic levels, including forage and juvenile fish, as well as top predators. His research is wide ranging, spanning interests in the Antarctic, tropical South Pacific, New Zealand, Mediterranean, North Pacific and Arctic.

For more information on the Vancouver Open Water Swim Association, visit www.vowsa.bc.ca.

* including Jasmine Kremer, Cheyenne Furlong Goos, Meliah Motchman, Maria Sharock, Aly White, Dixon McGowan, Drew Sabourin, Ben Vanlierop, and Lidia White on an 8-week 80 km stage swim called
The Great Big Swim.

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