Staff Photo: John Bohn U.S. Olympic swimmer and Parkview graduate Eric Shanteau swims a demonstration of his breaststroke technique while hosting "Swim For Your Life," an event held at Lake Lanier Saturday benefiting Livestrong. Shanteau and other U.S. Olympic swimmers conducted swimming clinics and races for young swimmers.
Staff Photo: John Bohn Rowdy Gaines, a former U.S. Olympic team swimmer and the winner of three Olympic gold medals in the 1984 Olympic Summer Games, passes along coaching advice to a young swimmer during "Swim For Your Life," an event held Saturday at Lake Lanier. U.S. Olympic swimmer and Parkview graduate Eric Shanteau hosted the event, conducting clinics and races for young swimmers to benefit Livestrong.
BUFORD -- For those who braved the lake Saturday morning, it was a long, cold journey.
Scores lined up along the beach and dove in, maneuvering through the brisk waters.
While the lake's temperature may have felt uncomfortable at first, many agreed it was a worthwhile effort.
Eric Shanteau's Swim For Your Life, an open-water race and clinic at Lake Lanier Islands Resort, brought out swimmers and supporters from all over Georgia. The event raised money for Lance Armstrong's LiveStrong initiative.
A Parkview graduate and 2008 Olympic swimmer, Shanteau hosted the event for the second straight year. He said it has more than tripled in size from its inaugural year.
"We've gotten off to a great start," said Shanteau after finishing a lap around the course.
Shanteau, who famously put off his own cancer treatment until after the Olympics, said he was excited to see the fundraiser grow. "You look around and see all these people here, and it's amazing because this whole idea was built from scratch," he said.
Temperatures couldn't put a damper on the spirits of those involved Saturday, he said.
"It's definitely cold out there, but it warms up after you get moving," he said, adding that "it seems like people are excited about the effort."
Ally Horne, 12, and Claire Van Norman, 11, were both excited following their laps through the lake.
"We heard about this opportunity and we felt like it would be for a good cause," Horne said.
Fellow swimmer Paige Sorel said she enjoyed swimming laps, although "it was really, really cold."
Lake temperatures felt to be in the 60s Saturday morning, according to those who participated in the event.
Those who didn't participate watched friends and family swim. Holly Molnar watched from the beach as daughter, Rachel Molnar, 17, competed.
"It's a good location, and it was a great opportunity for her," Holly Molnar said. "We're glad we came out."
According to its website, LiveStrong provides support to "guide people through the cancer experience, bring them together to fight cancer -- and work for a world in which our fight is no longer necessary."