Hundreds of guests at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon on June 14 joined nearly 30,000 participants on six continents to set a record for the world’s largest simultaneous swimming lesson.
Participants at more than 70 locations across Florida took part, including swimmers at the Blanchard Park YMCA in Orlando, Celebration Lakeside Park and the Lakeland Park District’s Simpson Pool.
Olympic gold medalists Rowdy Gaines and Summer Sanders joined Disney characters Lilo and Stitch just outside the Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool for the official start to the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson. Gaines served as master of ceremonies for the second consecutive year while Sanders spoke on behalf of one of event’s sponsors, Coppertone, about the importance of applying sunscreen before entering the water.
During the 30-minute lesson taking place simultaneously all over the world, guests received instruction on proper swimming strokes, kicks and floating techniques.
“We were honored Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park served as the official headquarters location for a second consecutive record-breaking World’s Largest Swimming Lesson,” said Jean Gallagher, general manager of water parks for Walt Disney World Resort. “The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson is a reminder to guests of all ages that when they enjoy the sunshine and water activities this summer, we want them to be safety smart. Sun protection and swimming lessons ensure that no one gets hurt and extends the fun for everyone.”
Tragically, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintended, injury-related death in children over the age of one. In fact, more than one in four fatal drowning victims is under the age of 14. Research shows if a child doesn’t learn to swim before the third grade, they likely never will.