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Marilyn Bell (Amazing Stories)

Marilyn Bell (Amazing Stories)

The Heart-Stopping Tale of Marilyn's Record-Breaking Swim

Marilyn Bell's 54-kilometre swim across Lake Ontario both stunned the world and riveted a nation. This account of her epic ordeal will have you on the edge of your seat as you accompany Marilyn and her coach, Gus Ryder, across the dark, frigid waters of Lake Ontario.


The girl in the water was all alone. Hundreds of shouting onlookers were circling about in boats. Thousands were cheering on the shore. Millions more across the country were listening to radio broadcasts and reading newspaper stories about Marilyn Bell, the 16-year-old girl who was moments away from becoming the first person ever to swim across Lake Ontario.

Yet Marilyn saw nothing and heard nothing. She didn't know that the largest crowd ever assembled in Toronto was cheering for her. Nor could she know that frantic teams of newspaper reporters were anxiously waiting for her, some of them even plotting to kidnap her to get her story. Marilyn had been swimming for almost 21 hours and was exhausted. Her stomach ached and her legs felt like lead. She felt she had been swimming forever. She would have cried, but no more tears would come. She was too tired to weep any more.

There were only a few voices Marilyn could hear, the voices of friends on a nearby boat. The loudest was Gus Ryder, the man she called "my wonderful trainer." All along, Gus had called out, urging her forward, demanding that she finish. "Come on," Gus yelled, "keep going!"

Suddenly the breakwater was just one stroke away. The moment Marilyn touched it her swim would be over and her agony would end. It was then she finally noticed the people cheering around her. She saw their faces in a flash of light, and a tremendous shiver shook her entire body. Somehow she found a new surge of strength. With one final effort Marilyn extended her left hand all the way, reaching out to touch the breakwater, closer, closer, closer....

About the Author

Patrick Tivy is the author of two other books by Altitude Publishing. He is also Executive Editor at HOMES Publishing Group of Unionville and is the editor of Active Adult Magazine, HOMES Magazine and Condo Life Magazine. His home in Toronto is close enough to Lake Ontario that he can hear the waves crash on the shore on stormy nights.

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