Books, film & more
Books are listed at the top of this page, followed by films (non-fiction), movies (fiction) and web TV further down. Note that I haven't provided links to any websites for the purchase of books, please consider buying through your local bookshop! Films and movies, on the other hand, are typically only available online through limited sources so I've listed whatever options I could find. Know of a great title we should add to the list? Send me a message!
Swimming to Antartica [Book, 2008]
In this extraordinary book, the world’s most extraordinary distance swimmer writes about her emotional and spiritual need to swim and about the almost mystical act of swimming itself. Lynne Cox trained hard from age nine, working with an Olympic coach, swimming five to twelve miles each day in the Pacific. At age eleven, she swam even when hail made the water “like cold tapioca pudding” and was told she would one day swim the English Channel. Four years later—not yet out of high school—she broke the men’s and women’s world records for the Channel swim. In 1987, she swam the Bering Strait from America to the Soviet Union—a feat that, according to Gorbachev, helped diminish tensions between Russia and the United States.
Rio [Film, 2020]
He is neither the fastest nor the strongest swimmer, but driven by commitment and determination, Anthony McCarley, a 60-year-old American swimmer, decides to go on a quest for a unique achievement: swimming across the Río de la Plata (River Plate), from Uruguay to Argentina, and doing the coastal swim Leme ao Pontal in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. RIO tells the story of someone overcoming adversity and pursuing personal growth. Watch it here (free).
The Swimmer [Film, 2017]
Delving into the peculiar, solitary psyche of West Cork open-water swimmer Stephen Redmond (the first person ever to complete the world-famous Ocean's Seven Challenge), The Swimmer looks at the beauty and poetry of Stephen's passion and touches on the lives of the people he has loved and lost. Watch it here (free).
Kim Swims [Film, 2017]
Open-water swimmer, Kim Chambers, chases her biggest dream yet: to become the first woman to complete a solo swim from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge – a 30-mile stretch of water known for frigid temperatures, swirling currents and the world’s largest Great White sharks. Many consider it to be the hardest marathon swim in the world, and rightfully so, as only four men have completed the swim. Through the physically and emotionally challenging lead-up to the swim, the swim itself, and the candid interviews with her and others, the film presents a look into what propels Kim to conquer her fears, pursue her passions and achieve her greatest potential, all while inspiring others to do the same. Watch trailer and rent/buy on Vimeo.
Chasing the Sublime [Film, 2018]
Chasing the Sublime is a mesmeric look at why adventurers adventure, and swimmers swim. Shot in Loch Hourn, Scotland, in 2018, the film documents the swimming adventures of Kate Rew and Kari Furre of the Outdoor Swimming Society. Watch it here (free).
Driven [Film, 2013]
Plunge into adventure as DRIVEN explores the obscure, yet fascinating sport of marathon swimming. Follow three individuals: swimming veteran Evan Morrison, novice swimmer and single mom Cherie Edborg, and 13-year-old Fiona Goh as they attempt to swim up to 20 miles across the Santa Barbara Channel. In frigid waters, without wetsuits, in the dead of the night, these three swimmers place everything on the line to chase their dream. Watch trailer and buy film here.
Touch The Wall [Film, 2014]
Touch the Wall follows two Olympic swimmers - the then 14 year-old Missy Franklin, and 2-time Olympian Kara Lynn Joyce - as they prepare for swimming's highest stage - the 2012 London Olympics. Young phenom (Missy Franklin) is just beginning her career and is saddled with mile-high expectations; the veteran (Kara Lynn Joyce) is trying to rediscover the juice that earned her four Silver medals. Touch the Wall is a story of competition, commitment, and triumph through adversity. It’s also a story of family, of loving what you do, and having fun with the people around you. In a world starved for heroes, Missy and Kara stand tall in Touch the Wall. Watch trailer and rent/buy on Vimeo.
Pride [Movie, 2007]
In 1970s Philadelphia, Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard), who is driven by a love of competitive swimming, fixes up an abandoned pool building with the help of a janitor named Elston (Bernie Mac). But when city officials mark the place for demolition, he fights back by founding an all-black swim team. Facing racism, violence and a hostile city official, Jim struggles to prepare his novice swimmers for the state championships. Based on a true story. See Rotten Tomatoes for viewing options.
The Swimsuit Issue [Movie, 2008]
A bunch of aging athletes decide to form the first Swedish all-male synchronized swimming team. Swedish with English subtitles. See Rotten Tomatoes for viewing options.
Winter Swim's favourite viking interviews some of marathon swimming's greats. Find the episodes here.
Marathon Swim Stories
When COVID-19 closed down pools and the open water swim season ceased, marathon swimmers near and far started to gather online. Just a few of us at first, lamenting the shut down, finding solace in each others company. Then we started hosting guests… we talk about swims past, swims lost, and how individuals are dealing with the current situation. Then more and more familiar faces joined. More guests shared their stories and we started to learn more about each than we ever have time for when we gather at the waters edge. Find the episodes here.