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Pat Gallant-Charette Won’t Stop Breaking Records

The oldest woman to swim the English Channel wants to continue knocking off marathon swims into her 80s

Pat Gallant-Charette is tougher than your average grandma. She’s probably tougher than you. The 68-year-old Maine native has completed the majority of the Oceans Seven, a marathon swimming challenge that has athletes tackling seven of the toughest open-water swims in the world. She has systematically subjected herself to near-freezing water temperatures, strong currents, shark attacks, and blooms of jellyfish during swims that have her in the water for up to 24 hours.

But the really crazy part? Gallant-Charette didn’t get serious about swimming until she was 58. And she was terrified of the ocean for years, after she had what she thought was a close encounter with a shark (it was really a curious seal) when she was 13. “I wouldn’t get in the water above my knees for years,” says Gallant-Charette in her strong New England accent.

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