Clinton native preparing to swim across his second Great Lake

The Clinton native is doing incredible feats while raising money for mental health.

Jason Kloss, 35, is training to swim non-stop across Lake Ontario. About 12 years ago, Close swam across Lake Huron, raising $22,000 for cancer research.

“A bit of a big lake. The sixty-five kilometers took me 26 hours and three minutes from start to finish,” Close explained. “It was a brutal experience.”

Closs explained that he plans to start his 51-kilometer nonstop swim across Lake Ontario on August 11, 2023 at Niagara-on-the-Lake. It will end in downtown Toronto in about 20 hours on August 12, 2023.

He says he swims more than 5km a day to get ready and will continue to swim farther than his original crossing when it rains. But he added that there are some physical and mental concerns that you can’t prepare for.

“Cold water, falling asleep while swimming, throwing up all night: all these different aspects that you can’t really train, so I think that part of it affected me this time around,” he said.

He said it was a daunting task, including daily training, while also working full-time and spending time with his family. He thanks his support team and family for helping him stay on track.

Close, who currently lives in Paris, Ont., said the pandemic combined with some personal tragedies prompted him to raise funds for mental health.

“My grandfather died of Alzheimer’s and dementia,” he explained. “It definitely had an effect on me mentally and made me want to start swimming again. Then we had a friend who died by suicide.”

Close added that he was inspired to take on the challenge by his grandfather, who swam across Lake Huron at the age of 50.

Close hopes his swim will raise $50,000 for the addiction and mental health center.

Kroos is one of the few athletes who has taken on such a challenge.

“A handful of people have swum across Lake Huron. About 50 to 60 people have done that distance in Lake Ontario,” Close continued.

Cross said you could go to his house and support him website.

“We’re also looking for support on swim day, we still need a sailboat,” he said.

Donors will have the chance to win a trip to Las Vegas, Cross noted. Close also lived in London, Ontario for several years.

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