Cape Town – Disabled Swimmer Takes to the Sea
A woman in Cape Town became not only the first disabled person but also the first woman to complete
the tiring 15km swim between Bloubergstrand and Robben Island on the 8th of March 2006. The incredible
distance in the icy Capetonian waters has often proved to be too huge a challenge for many able-bodied
swimmers so the feat is quite a notable accomplishment.
Lydia Goldswain suffers from a condition called spastic diplegia which impedes her ability to walk. At 43
years of age with a serious dissability, many considered her desire to make the swim dangerous and somewhat
foolhardy. But Goldswain reportedly has a ‘very strong mind’ and she determinedly took to the water on Tuesday
for her eight and a half hour swim. The Cape Long Distance Swimming Association (CLDSA) monitored her activity
to ensure that the record was set honestly and accurately.
Barry Cutler of the CLDSA commented that “Lydia did amazingly well,” when discussing the matter with the press on
Wednesday. He also commented that her achievement has “humbled many people” and that it is ‘nothing short of
remarkable.’ While a number of women have done the Robben Island-Three Anchor Bay double crossing before none
have attempted it from Bloubergstrand which is to the east of the island. Lydia Goldswain can certainly feel
proud about her remarkable achievement.