Kelowna’s Nick Pelletier had his attempt to swim 106 kilometres from Vernon to Penticton cut short due to medical reasons, but he nearly doubled his fundraising goal towards BrainTrust Canada’s Youth Concussion Clinic. (Nickpelletier.ca)

Kelowna’s Nick Pelletier had his attempt to swim 106 kilometres from Vernon to Penticton cut short due to medical reasons, but he nearly doubled his fundraising goal towards BrainTrust Canada’s Youth Concussion Clinic. (Nickpelletier.ca)

Kelowna athlete’s 106-km swim cut short, but funds finish strong

Nick Pelletier set out to traverse full length of Okanagan Lake in support of Youth Concussion Clinic

Severe chafing may have stalled Nick Pelletier’s attempt to swim the entire length of Okanagan Lake, but there was no stalling the funds that came in for the cause he was swimming for.

The Kelowna endurance athlete took to the waters in Vernon early Friday morning with his sights set on the beach in Penticton, 106 kilometres away. The only other athlete to complete the swim — Adam Ellenstein in 2016 — finished in just under 41 hours, setting an official Guinness World Record.

Along with chasing Ellenstein’s time, Pelletier was swimming in support of BrainTrust Canada’s Youth Concussion Clinic, a cause dear to him after a series of concussions forced his early retirement from college basketball.

“It’s a pretty scary and uncertain thing to go through when you are on your own,” he said.

READ MORE: Kelowna man vies for world record with Okanagan Lake swim from Vernon to Penticton

Around eight hours into the swim, Pelletier began to experience chafing — a common swimmer’s affliction made worse by the fact he was tackling greater distances in a wet suit than ever before.

By the 14-hour mark, the pain had become excruciating.

“It got to the point where we were going through tubs of Vaseline to try and combat it,” Pelletier explained. “Unfortunately, I had to call it just over 50 kilometres in.”

While ending the swim was “gut-wrenching,” Pelletier says he’s grateful for the above-and-beyond support from his team.

“I had an unbelievable support crew, and I couldn’t have asked for more supporting people to help me get through what I was going through.”

And having nearly doubled his $5,000 fundraising goal, he’s also grateful for the support raised for BrainTrust’s youth recovery program, which helps people aged five to 25 heal safely from a concussion or other traumatic brain injury.

It’s not he first time Pelletier has taken on an extreme athletic challenge for the sake of others. Last year he spent 50 days cycling 5,755 kilometres from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Calif., to his family’s home in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. The result was more than US$11,500 for Pencils of Promises — an organization that builds schools and provides education resources internationally.

READ MORE: Game 7 heartbreak for Vancouver as Vegas bounces Canucks from NHL playoffs with 3-0 win


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

concussionsSwimming

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

Just Posted

A member of the Okanagan Mission Secondary School community has tested positive for COVID-19. (Google Maps)
Another COVID-19 case confirmed at Okanagan Mission Secondary school

Interior Health has confirmed a member of the school community tested positive for the virus

A concept rendering of the proposed Costco at the corner of Baron, Leckie and Springfield roads. (WSP Global)
Contentious Kelowna Costco relocation moved to public hearing

Costco looking to move less than a kilometre away to build a larger store with more parking, gas bar

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
104 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

IH is reporting the new numbers since Friday, Nov. 20

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP Const. Samantha McClellan (left) and Staff-Sgt. Jeff Faulkner (right) accept a bag of dog treats from Vernon’s Marco Lavigne at the Cram The Cruiser fundraiser event in support of the Pet Soup Kitchen Tuesday, July 27, at Vernon’s Healthy Spot Pet Nutrition and Siupply. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
RCMP to host annual ‘Stuff the Cruiser’ event safely amid COVID-19

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28 at Kelowna RCMP Detachment at 1190 Richter Avenue

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

7-year-old Mackenzie Hodge from Penticton sent a hand-written letter to premiere John Horgan asking if she’d be able to see her elf, Ralph under the new coronavirus restrictions. (John Horgan / Twitter)
Elf on the shelf an acceptable house guest B.C. premier tells Okanagan girl

A 7-year-old from Penticton penned a letter asking if she’d be allowed to see her elf this year

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

RCMP pictured at a motor vehicle incident during snowy conditions. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B&E, stolen car in Vernon lands Whitehorse man in cuffs

Suspect takes off on foot in attempts to evade arrest

Penticton Search and Rescue along with the Penticton Fire Department located and airlifted an injured 21-year-old female hiker Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. (Mike Biden photo)
Penticton search and rescue airlift injured hiker off mountain

There has been an unprecedented amount of calls for search and rescue this year

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Salmon Arm RCMP nabbed two Calgary suspects in an allegedly stolen vehicle on Highway 1 on Nov. 22, 2020. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP use spike belts on Highway 1 to nab Calgary suspects

Arrests occur after Revelstoke RCMP clock allegedly stolen vehicle going faster than 160 km/h

Most Read