BATH, Maine — Two dedicated Hyde School swimmers were determined that a blizzard last week wouldn’t keep them from practice and challenged each other to a race through 3 feet of snow on the school’s High Street campus in Bath.
Instead of L.L. Bean boots and parkas, though, Burke Riley and Carlos Sanchez donned swimsuits and butterflied and freestyled through the snowbanks. The school’s swim team practice had been canceled by inclement weather, so the pair decided “snow swimming” would be their best chance for a training session.
Dan Morganstern, another Hyde School student, captured the race on video, which had been viewed by 120,000 people on Instagram and nearly 8,000 on YouTube on Monday.
“It never snowed where I grew up,” Riley of North Carolina said Monday. “I thought it would be fun to jump in and swim … but it kind of took my breath away. A lot of kids at my school asked me to do it again, but I don’t think I want to do it again.”
In fact, Sanchez from Spain didn’t complete the full lap, jumping out and running to a hot shower, while Riley did the butterfly back.
“He got way too cold,” Riley said.
Sanchez said his cousin emailed the video to Olympian Michael Phelps but has not yet heard back from the legendary gold medal winner or whether “snow swimming” might be declared a new Olympic event.
They also sent the clip to Ellen Degeneres’ television show. Should he get a call from Degeneres, Riley said, “Yeah. I’d probably do it again.”