Solo Swims of Ontario Inc.

Hall of Fame

Commander C.G. (GERRY) FORSBERG, OBE, RN
Swimming Achievements

Gerry Forsberg - A Pioneering Leader who was born in Canada and went on to be honoured by Britain and the USA as one of the most outstanding swimmers and promoters of marathon and long-distance swimming in the 20th century.
1957-1959 World Record holder for the English Channel (England-France), 13 h 33 min.
First Canadian to swim the Channel from England to France (1957).
1957-1958 Champion of inaugural BLDSA races on Lake Windermere.
1958 Champion of inaugural BLDSA two-way race across Torbay.
1959 Champion of inaugural BLDSA race on Loch Lomond.
Record holder for various marathon swims including Lough Neagh, Morecambe Bay two-way, Windermere two-way, and the Bristol Channel.
1957-1982 During the first 25 years after the formation of the BLDSA, he completed 211 long distance championships totalling 1,256 miles (over 2,000 km).

Adding mileage done in training, he had swum over 8,800 miles (over 14,000 km) in that quarter century - a distance comparable with a London-Singapore sea trip via the Suez Canal, or comparable with a there-and-back sea voyage from England to the West Indies.

1963-Date President of the English Channel Swimming Association.
1965 Elected to Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, USA.
1965 Elected Honourary Life Member of Ye Amphibious Ancients Bathing Association of Broughty Ferry, Dundee, Scotland.
1971 Davids-Wheeler Award (USA) for services to marathon swimming.
1973 Last open-water race that Gerry won was at age 61 - a 3-mile sea swim from Swansea to Mumbles (Wales).
1974 Elected Honourary Life Member of Royal Navy Amateur Swimming Association.
1977 Elected Honourary Life Member of the Solent Swimming Club of London, England.
1978 Recipient of the BLDSA 'Swim of the Year' award.
1982-1983 President of the BLDSA.
1992 BLDSA Veterans championship at Lake Coniston: 80 years old and still swimming. Gerry entered the water in characteristic Forsbergian mode with goggles and no cap to cover the hairless pate - but with an unusual support. Due to knee ligament problems, he sported a walking stick for the entry into the water, before starting the 5.25 km race which he would complete on 'arms only'. The swim was completed in 5 hours 1 minute and 10 seconds and he says he received "... a bigger reception than when I was a champ!"
1997 One of 250 individuals summoned by the Queen to Buckingham Place "To Celebrate Sport in the Life of the British Nation'.
1998 Recipient of the 1998 Harold Fern Award of the English Amateur Swimming Association for 'Many years of outstanding service to popularise the sport of swimming at national and international level'.
1998 Elected Honourary Life Member of Warrington Dolphins Long Distance Swimming Association.
1998 Inducted as a Pioneer into the newly-formed Open-Water section of the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Florida.

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Created: 11th June 2000
Last Updated: 19th March 2003