Olympians Swim Four Miles in Lake Austin with Colin's Hope to Help Prevent Children From Drowning

World class swimmers raising awareness of childhood drowning

The upcoming July 4th holiday is expected to bring many Central Texas families to lakes, rivers, and pools to celebrate, but the sad fact is that more children drown during this time of the year than any other. This year in Texas, more than 28 children have lost their lives to a fatal drowning, while many more have survived a non-fatal drowning.

Colin’s Hope is a local nonprofit started by the Holst family after their four-year-old son Colin drowned in June of 2008. Honoring the five-year anniversary of Colin's drowning, dedicated charity athletes will swim in Lake Austin on Monday, July 1, for a four-mile-long event to raise water safety awareness and funds for the organization. Olympic gold medalist (and new father) Brendan Hansen, Australian Olympic swimmer Elli Overton, and 25 other swimmers will help spread the message that drowning is preventable.

Jeff Holst, Colin’s father and Colin's Hope Chair, stated, “We get to celebrate Colin’s life and honor him by raising awareness and reminding families they must be safe around water.”

The 30 swimmers completing the four-mile swim will start from the east side of the 360 (Pennybacker) Bridge at 9:00 a.m.  At 8:30 a.m., there will be an opening ceremony to honor Colin's life and the lives of other children who have drowned, followed by a safety briefing. Each swimmer will be supported by a personal kayak water guardian. They will also have medical/safety support from The Expedition School and City of Austin Lake Police.

The four-mile swim will finish at the Walsh Boat Landing, near Hula Hut. The first swimmer is expected to exit the water around 10:30 a.m., and the last swimmer will exit by 1:00 p.m. Spectators are invited to greet the swimmers as they exit the water.

Colin’s Hope has other athlete ambassadors completing events around the world to raise funds and awareness for childhood drowning prevention. Together, these athletes will raise awareness and more than $100,000 to help prevent drowning.

Colin's Hope will hold their Got2Swim 10K and 10 miler in Lake Austin on Thursday, August 29, in preparation for the busy Labor Day holiday.

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