Melissa O’Reilly (‘Mo’)
Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Melissa currently resides in Lambertville, New Jersey, USA.
Melissa has been a competitive swimmer since the age of five and an endurance athlete for over 20 years, rowing, cycling and running at an elite level. She started swimming in open and cold water only at the end of 2012, having grown tired of being injured from running ultra-marathons. After some long winter months training with the winter swimmers of CIBBOWS, she competed in the 2013 ‘Festival of the North’ in Murmansk, Russia and won gold medals in the 25m Free, 100m Free and 450m Free in water that was 0°C. Two weeks after returning from competitions in Murmansk, Melissa completed her first ice mile off the coast of New York and was subsequently named an official ‘Ice Swimmer’ by the International Ice Swimming Association (IISA).
Melissa majored in Russian and Slavic Languages while studying at Princeton and Oxford Universities. To take part in a relay swim connecting two countries that she holds so close to her heart, Russia and the USA, is an unprecedented honor for her.
Самое дорогое у человека – это жизнь, она даётся один раз.
The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley
Winning Three Golds in Murmansk
Ice Mile Attempt at Brighton Beach/Coney Island, New York
Video of Melissa competing in the 100m Free in Murmansk