Some Like It Cold! – An Interview With Open Water Swimmer Hunter Wright


Open water swimmer Hunter Wright recently turned 17. He trains in the challenging waters of the San Francisco Bay; to date he has completed 20 Alcatraz crossings and 8 Golden Gate Bridge swims. He also trains in frigid lake waters in upper CA, closer to his hometown of Redding.  It’s not uncommon for Hunter  to swim in temperatures ranging from 35-50 degrees … without a wetsuit!

Hunter’s swimming accomplishments include winning a 10K speed race in Israel this past May, competing against the Israel Open Water Olympic Team. He is currently raising funds to fulfill an opportunity to break a world record in January as the youngest swimmer to compete in an extreme swim event in the Straits of Magellan in Chile, where he also hopes to win a world record as the fastest to compete in the event without a wetsuit.

NSP: What are you most passionate about? What do you love to spend your time doing?

HW: I am most passionate about my swimming. Life just opens up and everything feels so amazing when I swim. Swimming is so important to me because it’s such a great way to spend time and stay healthy.

NSP: What is it that got you involved with swimming?

HW: I started competitively swimming in a pool when I was eight, and I heard about open water swimming by word of mouth. Open water swimming was the most interesting thing to me so I decided to give it a try, and after my first time competing in open water I fell in love with it.

NSP: What has contributed most to keeping you on the path you are on now?

art-0114-hunter2HW: The main reason I keep doing open water swimming is because it’s an amazing sport with a plethora of competition. It’s also the drive to keep doing new races or different and even more challenging swims; to say that I can complete anything if I just put my mind to it.

NSP: What has surprised you most about what following your passion has brought you?

HW: The fact that I have such a love for the sport has surprised me most. I figured I would just do one race and not enjoy it very much, but now I just keep wanting more and more new challenges to be faced with and to eventually accomplish.

NSP: What are you most proud of?

HW: I’m very proud that I’ve had the mental and physical toughness to keep pushing myself to greater heights and to becoming a better open water swimmer.

NSP: Do you have anything to say to others about the value of following their own dreams, and why they should?

HW: I would say to always follow your heart and do what you know is right for you, and always push yourself past your so-called “limits” because there is nothing that you can’t do if you just believe in yourself.

To contact Hunter, email

To donate to Hunter’s Straits of Magellan swim, visit

Lisa Shara
About Lisa Shara

Writer Lisa Shara lives in upper Northern California where she is involved in a variety of community projects.


  1. I believe I have met him once at a church activity . We were playing flower tag and he hid behind me. It was a funny moment. I had no idea and that point that he was a swimmer. I found out later that night when some one asked how the swimming was going. He said it was going good. I thought to myself that it was really cool to pursue a dream like swimming. Even, many more such as singing, basketball, football, track and field.Hunter is an inspiration to me because, if he didn’t set his mind to the training and swimming he would have never gotten this far. He has inspired me to achiever dreams of my owns and that if I work hard enough I can accomplish anything. You can pursue any dreams of yours if you take the time, dedication, and effort. Hunter is an example for all the young people around his age. Never give up Hunter. Congratulations on your accomplishments.
    Thank you Hunter for the inspiration! I really appreciate it.

  2. Just incredible, Olympics here we come, what accomplisments for a 17 year old

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