Vicki Keith Munro | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Vicki Keith Munro

Vicki Keith Munro (née Keith), marathon swimmer (born 26 February 1961 in Winnipeg, MB). Vicki Keith Munro is the most successful marathon swimmer in the history of the sport, currently holding an unprecedented 14 world records. Her marathon swimming career began in Kingston, Ont in August 1985 with her first world-record crossing of Lake Ontario (19.3 km in 11½ hours, butterfly stroke). In 1988, Keith Munro became the first person to cross all five Great Lakes.

Among her many outstanding swims using the butterfly stroke were the circumnavigation of Sydney Harbour in May 1989 (22 km) and the crossings of the English Channel in July 1989 (33.7 km), Juan de Fuca Strait (32 km) and Lake Winnipeg in Aug 1989 (28 km), and Lake Ontario and the Catalina Channel in Sept 1989 (35 km). She swam Lake Ontario a record 5 times, including the first double crossing of 104 km. She set a record of 100 hours in a continuous pool swim in October 1985, which she broke in June 1996 by swimming 129 hours and 45 minutes.

Keith Munro became to many the face of marathon swimming, both in Canada and around the world. Determined to raise awareness, as well as funds, for disabled children, her swims generated more than $800 000 for Variety Club projects worldwide. Close to $600 000 of this was used for the Variety Village Sunshine Pool. In recognition of her outstanding achievements and service, she was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 1992. Other awards include the Order of Ontario (1990), the Variety Club Heart Award (1989), B'Nai Brith Woman of the Year (1989), Provincial Athlete of the Year (1988 and 1989), and the Vanier Award (1988). In 1996 she was inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame.