With his time of 14 hours 42 minutes on August 12-13, 1994 (two years after his 14 hours 50 minute crossing), John Scott holds the fastest amateur recorded time for a Lake Ontario crossing on the traditional NOTL-to-Toronto course.
John was the motive force in the creation of the plaque at Niagara-on-the-lake to recognize the swimmers who have crossed the lake. He is seen here addressing the audience at the unveiling of the plaque in October 1994.
He has been a continuing force and inspiration in the support of other swimmers in their attempts and achievements in swims on the Great Lakes. In recognition of his swimming achievements and his contributions to the swims of others, John received the Cliff Lumsdon Award of SSO in 1995.
John has shown a particular interest in the well-being of disabled individuals. His 1991 swim raised $10k for the Children's Wish Foundation of Canada which funded two wishes - one to the Blue Jays' training camp in Florida, and the other to Disneyland, California. His 1992 swim set even higher goals, exceeded them by 100%, and raised $50k for the Canadian team to attend the 1993 Special Olympics World Winter Games held in Saltzburg, Austria. John was the Honourary Head Coach of the 1993 Canadian team and was honoured to carry the Canadian flag during the opening ceremonies. His enthusiasm in this work was also reflected in the introduction of a Moose costume which he sported as the mascot for the Canadian team. His 1994 swim raised a further $35k for the Special Olympics World Winter Games. The majority of the funds in 1992 and 1994 were raised from very generous employee donations and matching employer contributions at ScotiaMcLeod.
The sense of satisfaction from these activities encouraged John to support Lynne Hallinan in her formation of the Bid Team that got the 1997 Special Olympics World Winter Games that were held in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada. John was elected as the Chair of that committee - and the promotional activities, leading to the 1997 Games, involved a trip to the 1995 Special Olympics World Summer Games in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. The 1997 games included downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, figure skating, speed skating, and floor hockey. In 1997, these games represented the largest sporting event in the World for that year - with some 5,000 volunteers supporting the events.
John has great respect for the 13 hours 49 minutes time of professional John Kinsella that JK recorded in the 1978 professional race.
He still stays in training, competes in Masters swimming competitions, and keeps a quiet eye on the Lake.
John served as Treasurer on the Board of SSO (2026-2020) and continues to provide invaluable support in advising others and acting as a Swim Master with SSO.
In a fascinating, 30 minute, 2020 interview, John and Steven Munatones (WOWSA) discuss lots of swim-related topics, motivation, ageing, disabilities and more.
A proud Canadian athlete with a true concern to the well-being of others who are less fortunate.
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Created: 9th February 2002
Last Updated: 5th September 2022