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Swimathon Supports Ukranian Refugees and Special Olympics

Swimathon Supports Ukranian Refugees and Special Olympics

Swimathon Supports Ukranian Refugees and Special Olympics


The swimathon has been an annual fundraising tradition for 29 years.

Contributing Writer

September 28, 2023

Matthew Hong '26

Despite rain, Hotchkiss held the 29th annual swimathon on September 9. More than 50 participants embarked on the two-mile swim across Lake Wononscopomuc to the Salisbury Town Grove. 

Spearheaded by Boys Varsity Swimming Head Coach Mr. Keith Moon, the event raised $13,500 for Special Olympics Connecticut and Special Olympics Slovakia. Several swimmers made the return trip on boats, but 37 swimmers completed a round-trip back to the Hotchkiss beach. Swimmers then joined other community members and participants at a celebration barbecue at the lakefront. 

Oliver Johnson ’25, an Upper Mid participant and member of the Varsity Swimming team said, “My favorite part about the Swimathon is that I’m swimming to make a difference.” Mr. Moon said, “I love that so many different people swim. Not everybody who went in at the beginning of the Swimathon swam across the lake and back, but so many people were willing to try it.” 

The Swimathon did not always take place in Lake Wononscopomuc. Until the Covid pandemic, the event was hosted at Hixon Pool in the Mars Athletic Center. In 2020, the tradition moved outside. Throughout the week leading up to the event, the weather was unpredictable and a source of anxiety for the participants. Mr. Moon said, “We were very lucky. We had thunderstorms that night, so it easily could have been rained out.” 

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Special Olympics, which hosts athletic opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and displaced Ukrainian refugees. 

Since the Russian-Ukrainian war began, donations have become significantly crucial. Over the upcoming Thanksgiving break, the school will offer a trip to Poland and Slovakia, where students can research World War II history and visit the Slovakian Special Olympics offices and Dream Day Care for Ukrainian refugee children in Bratislava

Matthew Hong is a contributing writer for The Record.

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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