Susan Simmons (left) and Aly White dive into the frigid waters off of the Breakwater at Ogden Point. (Jennifer Blyth/News Staff)

Dozens rally for Susan Simmons’ icy ocean dip for Crystal Pool

Victoria residents want Victoria city councillors to prioritize building a new Crystal Pool facility

Dozens of people rallied around Susan Simmons on Sunday as she, and a few brave souls, plunged into the frigid waters off of Ogden Point.

Simmons is an ultra-marathon swimmer who has used the sport to overcome symptoms from multiple sclerosis (MS). She did the plunge as a call to action to Victoria council to prioritize building a new Crystal Pool facility. She invited councillors to join her in the 6C water so they could see where swimmers will need to go if no new pool surfaces, but none of them took up the offer.

“[Coun.] Sarah Potts texted me to say she had social commitments,” Simmons said, noting she had said yes previously. “It was interesting to me that the two councillors that originally said yes and knew the date all of a sudden had social commitments… Though, I think for them to show up it would be challenging because the community is angry. Really angry.”

ALSO READ: Ocean swim challenge in support of Crystal Pool ‘rejected’ by Victoria councillors

For nine years council has deliberated a new pool, and in the past two years lost millions of dollars in federal-provincial funding for the project when they voted to pull the plug on mostly-developed plans. More than $2 million had been poured into those plans alone.

“The irresponsible decisions they’ve made astound me,” Simmons said.

Simmons said she’s at Crystal Pool at least 10 times per week, both swimming for herself and coaching people.

“I have a good sense of what’s going on at the pool,” she said. “For many people the pool is life-saving.”

ALSO READ: Victoria council candidate brings forward Crystal Pool petition

If Simmons doesn’t swim for two weeks, for example, her MS symptoms return. Additionally, seniors and athletes with physical and mental limitations thrive in the water.

The pool, however, is aging and will not last very much longer, costing upwards of $100,000 per month in maintenance costs.

Simmons and her supporters are asking council to prioritize the development of a new pool, and will continue to advocate for it by continuing their actions, including letter writing and speaking at council meetings.

For more information on upcoming efforts visit savecrystalpool.ca.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook Send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

Crystal Pool

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rare white orca spotted hunting off shores of Alaska for first time

Tl’uk seems healthy and strong, says researcher

Mental health challenges add to youth stress load

Part 2 in a Black Press series on Youth Homelessness

Langford bike park rolling along to completion

New park a tribute to Jordie Lunn’s legacy

Saanich council to dig into long-awaited garden suite study

Detached suites keep families close, provide financial flexibility, mayor says

Oak Bay council places 60-day protection order on Island Road house

Developer pulled heritage agreement over ‘exorbitant’ $417,000 fees

VIDEO: Greater Victoria police officers try bhangra dancing with social media star

Gurdeep Pandher leads bhangra lesson on front lawn of the BC Legislature building

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish

Nearly 22,000 comments received during public review were opposed, fewer than 200 were for

Most Read