Pat Gallant-Charette — a USM alumna who holds an astonishing nine world records for long distance swimming — was featured by the Portland Press Herald in an hour-long conversation as part of its “Maine Voices Live” series.
Gallant-Charette described her fear of sharks, her training regime and her favorite swim — the 20-mile open water journey from Catalina Island to Palos Verdes, on the California coast. During the swim, she was greeted by sea life ranging from flying fish and sea lions to dolphins and whales, she said.
Glenn Jordan, a sports writer at the paper, interviewed Gallant-Charette, who began her marathon swims at 58. She is now 68 and has accomplished some of the most challenging open water swims in the world, including the continental journey from Gibraltar to Spain and the most famous one of all, the English Channel.
In 2017, at 66 years of age, she became the oldest woman to complete the English Channel swim.
Gallant-Charette is a USM alumna, earning her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1993.
From time to time, she swims with her friend and fellow long distance swimmer John Gale, a USM researcher and alumnus who is preparing his own English Channel swim in September.