August 11, 2012
Weather shelves Shield's swim across Lake Ontario
By Ian Robertson, QMI Agency
TORONTO -- Would-be Lake Ontario swimmer Colleen Shields has been beached by the weather - again.
The determined 60-year-old, who delayed her start Friday evening at Niagara-on-the-Lake due to threatened thunder-storms, had hoped instead to start for Marilyn Bell Park in Toronto late Saturday.
"I just want to kick the weatherman," she told The Sun.
"My swim has been cancelled for the entire weekend because of thunder showers and high winds," the Georgetown resident, an Mississauga travel consult wrote in an email.
Now if the weather co-operates Shields is hoping to get underway on Sept. 7.
The 52-kilometer swim poses a grueling challenge, which she accomplished twice before but was forced to abandon in recent years due to choppy waters and an arm that grew tired following shoulder surgery.
Though Shields may be willing, she is under orders from a team master who guides her route and the timing.
But if all goes well, she is counting on her overnight swim resulting in successful completion on the rocky beach west of Exhibition Place where her hero, Bell, became the first person to conquer the lake on Sept. 9, 1954.
Shields would be the 51st person to finish the solo swim, and the oldest.