15-year-old swimmer reopens border with 25-mile swim from Newport to Magog

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NEWPORT — On Wednesday, 15-year-old Margaret Rivard of Derby reopened the Canadian border to open water swimming by completing a 25-mile international swim on Lake Memphremagog between Newport, Vermont, and Magog, Quebec.

Taking part in the “In Search of Memphre” swim, Rivard entered the water at 12:30 a.m. at the EastSide Restaurant in Newport, and exited at 4:21 p.m. at Plage de Magog, in Magog, Quebec.

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Her total time was 15 hours and 51 minutes.

Her crew consisted of her parents, Darcie DeBlois-Rivard, and Kevin Rivard, and her sister and training partner Vera Rivard.

Piloting the escort pontoon were Phil White, Director of Kingdom Games, and Charlotte Brynn, Assistant Director of Kingdom Games

Weather and water welcomed Rivard with water temperatures between 72 to 74 F, with air temperatures in the 50s at night to mid-70s during the day.

The swim was ratified by the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association and was in full accordance with traditional channel crossing standards published by the Marathon Swimmers Federation.

Rivard had qualified for the swim by twice completing the 25 km Border Buster at Kingdom Swim in 2018 and 2019 when she was 11 and 12.

She was scheduled to attempt this swim in 2020 when she was 13.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting closure of the border delayed her swim until this year.

Rivard began her open water career by swimming the ¼-mile youth swim at Kingdom Swim when she was 7-years-old. completing it in 10 minutes and 49 seconds.

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