Meet Michael Kenny


Meet Michael Kenny or--as most of his supporters know him--Swim Diesel. Michael started open-water swimming 5 years ago with a little inspiration from his kids. What started as goal to improve his health became the start of an incredible swimming journey that he chronicles on his blog, Since then, the father-of-three has made quite a name for himself in the world of open-water swimming. In 2015, he was the first winner of the Global Swim Series, an international open-water race series, in the Male Non-Wetsuit division and in 2017 he placed 2nd in the world for this race series! Despite swimming all over the world, Michael calls Ontario home and spends time training in the lakes and rivers of the Lake Erie Basin, including Turkey Point, Port Dover and the Grand River.

Michael is keen to take on the 24-hour #SwimForErie challenge for the same reason that he takes on any swimming challenge: to feel the sense of accomplishment after conquering something that once seemed impossible. However, Michael is also excited for the opportunity to advocate for greater protection of the Great Lakes. He is especially passionate about defending freshwater from litter and raw sewage--something he has been quite vocal about on social media and his blog.

Most of all, Michael wants to share his love for open-water swimming with the larger Lake Erie community. As someone who has overcome many challenges to get to this point--from some difficult first swims in the pool to dangerous conditions when swimming across Lake Erie--Michael demonstrates that it is never too late for someone to become active or pursue their goals. Michael tells anyone who is considering open-water swimming to be patient because it takes time to train for greater distances, but with each swim it gets a little easier. For Swim Diesel, the feeling of finishing a swim and looking back to see how far you’ve travelled is one of the best feelings in the world!