Former Ballerina First to Swim Farallones-to-Golden Gate

Kim Chambers (Liz Hafalla / SF Chronicle / AP)
Liz Hafalla / SF Chronicle / AP

On Saturday, a former classical ballerina made history becoming the first woman to swim the 30 miles from the Farallones to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

Eight years ago, doctors told Kim Chambers she’d never be able to walk again. Now, she is in the sporting record books.

“I’m shocked,” Chambers, 38, said upon completing the swim which took her 17 hours and 12 minutes, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s going to take me a long time to process this. That was the scariest thing I’ve ever done.”

The water is home to many great white sharks which made the journey all the more frightening.

Chambers is originally from New Zealand and her mother flew in to be in the boat that followed behind her throughout the arduous swim, which began at 11:30 p.m. Friday night.

The Chronicle notes that she overcame an injury in 2007 which almost resulted in the amputation of her leg. She had taken up swimming as a way to rehabilitate herself and several short years later she became the sixth person (and third woman) to complete the Ocean’s Seven marathon, during which she reportedly endured hundreds of jellyfish stings.

Four others–all men–have successfully completed the swim between the Farallon Islands and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz and on Facebook.


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