An Improbable Dream Come True
Laura Goodwin successfully swims the English Channel
WHEN she was a child, Laura
Goodwin decided that she would
someday swim from England
to France. That day came on
BY S IMON GONZALEZ
July 11, when Goodwin completed the storied
English Channel swim.
“It is finally beginning to sink in that I made it,” she
said a couple of days later. “What I feel right now
is amazing and grateful. It was a perfect day in the
Channel, where I realized a lifelong dream. So very
many people came together to make that happen
for me. A huge thank-you to all of them!”
Goodwin acknowledged the difficulty of the task
in an interview with Wrightsville Beach Magazine a
few months before the attempt (“The Improbable
Dream” April 2022).
“There are a lot of things that can stop you in the
Channel,” she said.
As it turned out, she was indefatigable. Nothing —
not the cold water, not wind, not waves, not jellyfish
and not fatigue — could keep her from fulfilling her
childhood dream. Goodwin completed the 21-mile
swim in a relatively swift 10 hours and 44 minutes.
“It was hard, but mostly I managed to have a really
good time,” she said. “My crew was fantastic, the
conditions were amazing, and it was very easy to
keep a great attitude going and to enjoy the results
of my years of training and preparation.”
Goodwin is a swim and triathlon coach based in
Raleigh. Her training included a lot of open-water
training in Wrightsville Beach.
The English Channel swim ranks among the
toughest endeavors in the world of endurance
sports — “crazy hard,” as Goodwin put it. As of
July 5, there were just 2,248 documented solo crossings since
1875. Only 773 of those were by women. By comparison, about
4,000 people have successfully summited Mount Everest.
Goodwin’s training had prepared her for success, and with ideal
weather conditions she had a good feeling about her attempt. But
the world of
sports — “crazy
hard,” as Laura
Goodwin put it.
PHOTOS BY KATY MORRIS
she didn’t want to celebrate prematurely.
“I had a very strong urge not to jinx myself, so in one sense I
knew I was going to make it when I touched France,” she said.
“But one of my favorite ways of motivating myself — that I have
been using since I was a 12-year-old swimming on my age group
18 august 2022