Kurt Dickson joined the list of fewer than 260 open swimmers who have completed three long-distance swims known as the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.
His third successful swim was crossing California’s Catalina Channel. “I started at about 11 p.m., so it’s pretty dark,” he told the Church News, laughing. “[Observers] shine a light out on the water and then you basically just start swimming to the mainland.” About nine hours later, he successfully reached the beach, adding his name to open swimming’s triple crown roster.
Dickson started swimming competitively when he was a six-year-old boy, helping out his older brothers who needed an additional swimmer for a relay team. His swimming success later helped him earn a scholarship to Brigham Young University, where he was a captain and school record holder on the swim team. He continued to swim while obtaining a medical degree from the University of Utah.
Dickson wanted to swim the English Channel between England and France, so he trained by circumnavigating Manhattan Island in New York City (or the 20 Bridges Circumnavigation Swim of Manhattan). After completing two of the three swims that comprise open swimming’s Triple Crown, he figured he “might as well do Catalina.”
Family members, aboard escort boats, traveled alongside him and helped him stay focused.
Dickson has won some 80 national championships in masters competitions. He is an emergency room doctor in Kansas and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- “Like swimming, the Church helps keep me centered. My faith has helped during these tough times we are going through. … I am very appreciative of my membership in the Church.”