Jim Dreyer

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Now known as 'The Shark', he once had a lifelong fear of water from a near-drowning as a child, and set his first record when he swam across Lake Michigan just two years after learning to swim. This extraordinary athlete's compelling story has made headlines around the world and inspired the media to label him 'The new American hero', 'The Lindbergh or Hillary of our generation', and 'The Lance Armstrong of the swim-world'. His life story and his adventures are the subject of two soon- to-be-released feature-length documentary films, entitled Swim Jim Swim and Before the Autumn Gales.

Officials who have recorded his achievements with USA Triathlon and the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, state that he has stretched the limits of known human capabilities. "There are only but a few athletes ever who have swum distances in the open sea comparable to that of Jim Dreyer, and he is the only one to swim such distances self-sufficiently. Most astoundingly, he is also the only one to swim these record marathon distances combined with Ironman-distance running and biking," said Tim Yount, USA Triathlon Executive Director. Jim Dreyer has carved a true niche for himself, as a "one-of-a-kind" ultra-marathon swimmer-triathlete, and in performing self-sufficiently.

Taking on the ever-challenging waters of North America's Great Lakes, Dreyer is the only athlete to set records with continuous swims across all five lakes … setting multiple records on each. In swimming across Lakes Superior, Huron, and Michigan, he set all of the distance records and the only applicable speed record for the three largest Great Lakes. In crossing Lakes Erie and Ontario, he became the first and only to swim across a Great Lake as part of a multi-sport event, and set triathlon and duathlon world distance records. He set self-sufficient world distance records in becoming the first and only to cross a Great Lake alone in a continuous swim (Superior), and to swim the length of a Great Lake in a staged event (Michigan) … all while towing the weight of his supplies.

Most incredibly, Jim overcame countless seemingly insurmountable challenges in accomplishing these feats, all the while insisting that "quitting is not an option." Referred to as "a sports psychology strongman" by sports psychologist and author Dr. Alan Goldberg, Jim's mantra of perseverance launched a successful speaking career in which he has proven to be both inspiring and entertaining. Modeled after his book, Creating Your Own Reality, his motivational presentations encourage attendees to dare to dream, dare to venture, and reveal his secrets for controlling fears, overcoming obstacles, achieving peak performance, and reaching extraordinary goals.

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