Wild Bill Swim and Paddle Challenge to Honor Late Dr. Bill Yorzyk

Yorzyk challenge

Wild Bill Swim and Paddle Challenge to Honor Late Dr. Bill Yorzyk

The family of late Olympic gold medalist Bill Yorzyk has created the the inaugural Wild Bill Swim and Paddle Challenge this summer, benefitting clean water causes in his native Massachusetts.

The event will be held on Aug. 7 in Massachusetts’s Quacumquasit (South) Pond and Quaboag (North) Pond. Proceeds will benefit the Quacumquasit Pond Phosphorus Inactivation Project.

The event is being organized by Jennifer Yorzyk Triger, the daughter of Dr. Bill Yorzyk. Yorzyk won gold in the men’s 200-meter butterfly at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. A native of Massachusetts, Yorzyk was a five-time NCAA All-American and 11-time world-record holder. He attended medical school and served in the United States Air Force Medical Corps. Yorzyk, who advocated for a variety of environmental causes, was inducted to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1971. He swam into his 70s.

He died in September 2020 at the age of 87.

The Wild Bill Swim and Paddle Challenge keeps alive his memory.

“With the Wild Bill Swim and Paddle Challenge, we’ve created an event where people will enjoy the wonder of being in South Pond water, while at the same time supporting its sustained cleanliness,” Yorzyk Triger said in a press release.

The morning’s program involves events for swimmers of all ages. The morning’s events including a three-mile open water swim, a one-mile swim, a one-mile paddleboard/swim relay and a one-way 400 yards swim. The day will conclude with entertainment, food and a celebration of the winners, along with a Vintage Bathing Beauties & Blokes Pageant.

“I have had the joy of taking to these open-water swims with other South Pond residents and guests,” Yorzyk Triger said. “They are challenging and exhilarating. Swimming in South Pond in the summer is like having your entire body caressed by velvet. I can’t wait to share this experience with others through the Wild Bill Swim Challenge.”

Fees vary based on event. The two longer swims require advanced registration by Aug. 6 at www.wildbillswim.org. Information on all the events and sponsorship opportunities are available there.

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2 years ago

I got to hold Dr.Bill Yorzyk’s gold medal in my hand because I was the babysitter for Jennifer, David and Jeff Yorzyk!! Im hoping to make this event!! ?‍♂️?‍♀️?

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