One of the highlights of this summer for 11-year-old Olivya Reyes was to swim the length of Dollar Lake, which was more than four km. She was determined to take on the challenge and hopes to swim back and forth next time. Submitted photo
TRURO – As soon as young Olivya Reyes decided to swim the length of Dollar Lake, nothing could stop her.
The 11-year-old from Truro often visits the popular lake, near Musquodoboit Valley, however, she had never viewed it as a conquest until recently. While enjoying the site with friends and family about two weeks ago, Olivya swam the width of the lake and, according to her mother Sharon, immediately commented, ‘that was nothing.’
Her next adventure, the following day, was to tackle the length of the lake, which was more than 4 km, no small feat for a child. She began at 11:10 a.m. and completed the task, non-stop, at 1:45 p.m.
“I wanted to know if I was capable of doing it. I was very confident in the beginning and then the water was wavy and I was a little nervous about what was in it, like eels,” Olivya told the Truro Daily News.
Thankfully, no eels could be seen and the youngster continued her trek to the other side. While she swam, some friends and family were in a canoe nearby just to be safe.
“My sister Emily and Aurelia … I couldn’t do it without them (encouraging). Next time, I want to go both ways!” said Olivya, who was a part of the Truro Centurions Swim Club last fall, adding when she gets older her ideal job would be a “diver or swimmer.”
Sharon said she wasn’t surprised her daughter wanted to swim the length of Dollar Lake and that she did so well.
“I was speechless and nervous, but I knew she could do it. I’m proud of her and to have that stamina. She was very confident and didn’t want to take a break. As a child she took to water like a fish,” said Sharon.
Sharon added she’s grateful her children are comfortable in the water “so (they) won’t be afraid of water. I’m not all that great in open body water because I almost drowned as a child.”
Olivya is eager to return to the lake, but first, she’s keeping busy with other athletic events. She was one of about a 100 youth who participated in the first-ever Truro Kids Triathlon on Saturday morning.
Who: Olivya Reyes
School: She’s going into Grade 6 at Bridgeway Academy
Favourite pastimes: Art, swimming and playing with friends
Other events she used to do: Gym and soccer