16-Year-Old Rivard to Swim English Channel
But First Swims an Endless Pool at Allen Pools and Spas THIS February
Lebanon, NH – Saturday, February 22 at 11am-1pm–UVAC Swim Team Member, Vermont Sport’s Magazine Athlete of the Year 2019, and open water swimming phenome, 16-year-old Vera Rivard of Springfield, NH, will promote her upcoming English Channel swim attempt on Saturday, February 22 at 11am-1pm at the Allen Pools & Spas show room in Lebanon, New Hampshire. She will be swimming for 2 hours non-stop in their Endless Pool and hot tub in one with advanced swim-in-place technology. Come cheer her on and donate to her next amazing swimming adventure!
Vera Rivard is a 16-year-old open water swimming dynamo who started swimming with Upper Valley Aquatic Club more than 10 years ago. She is from Springfield, NH and in the summer, Derby, VT. Rivard has dreamed of swimming the English Channel her whole life. She has always worked hard to accept all available swim challenges, is happiest in the water and excited to try new swims and test her limits.
In the summers of 2018 and 2019, Rivard swam Lake Memphremagog, a 25-mile swim called in the Search of Memphre. Vera Rivard was the youngest swimmer to ever complete this race when she was just 14. For the first 15 miles there were headwinds of 10-20 MPH and the race director said it was some of the roughest conditions that swim had ever seen. But Vera did it and was able to finish The Search in 16 hours 24 minutes.
Swimming Memphremagog and other open water swimming events has taught Vera so much. She has learned that practice, determination and persistence is key. She’s learned to be bold and never give up. Seven people attempted the Lake Memphremagog in 2018 swim and only two finished that day. The swim really tested her. She found that the more she challenges herself to face her fears, the more comfortable she starts to feel with herself.
Rivard is so passionate about open water swimming that she even dressed as Gertrude Ederele for a large class project. Gertrude Caroline Ederle was an American competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in five events. On August 6, 1926, she became the first woman to swim across the English Channel.
Last summer 2019, Rivard attended Cork Distance Week in Ireland and this year in August 2020 she will attempt the English Channel. “I am constantly being asked why I do this? Why are you trying this when you are so young? Why swim so far, or why swim in such cold water? I only have one answer. Because I love it! I feel it is what I am meant to do. I feel completely “me” when I am in the open water,” says Vera. “My mom is always saying when something gets hard or we have to struggle with something, that we are “BUILDING CHARACTER”. I dare say, I have been working on being very full of “CHARACTER”. I have pushed myself in ways I had no idea I could and have had success. I am so lucky,” Rivard adds.
Upper Valley Aquatic Center, Allen Pools and Spas and TYR Swimwear are Vera Rivard’s first official supporters of Vera’s English Channel attempt in August 2020. The swim and all support will cost close to $12,000. If you are inspired by Vera and would like to donate to her English Channel attempt go here: https://fundly.com/team-rivard-swimming
Vera’s sister, Margaret, a 12-year-old open water swimmer in her own right, will be onsite on Saturday, February 22 at 11am-1pm. She will be there to answer questions for Vera and help with another fundraiser selling hand knit hats made by Vera’s mother Darcie. Suggested donation will be $20. They have already sold more than 400 hats to date!
Vera hopes to swim the Open Water Triple Crown in the next two years:
- 20 Bridges around Manhattan Island, August 2020
- English Channel, August 2020
- Catalina Island, August 2021
Read Vera’s Swim Resume here
Allen Pools & Spas started carrying Endless Pools, incredible pool and hot tub combos, a few years ago. The amazing swim-in-place technology creates a wonderful at-home wellness system that is great for athletes and families. Allen Pools & Spas has been inspiring happier and healthier communities since 1957 and is located in Lebanon NH, Rutland, and Williston VT.
Find out more about the UVAC swim team: https://uvacswim.org/swimming/swim-team/