Nothing sounds better on a hot August day than a refreshing swim in one of South Dakota's lakes.
In this week’s Flashback Friday, we're taking you back 41 years to the summer of 1972, when some of KELOLAND's best swimmers competed in the Swim Across the Dam. Former KELOLAND reporter Richard Muller reports.
Tension mounts at the Oahe boat ramp as swimmers and spectators readied themselves for the Annual 4th Oahe Swim. A mad dash to the water signaled the start of the first head across the two-mile base of the dam. Observation boats followed closely, in case they would be needed.
Times in the three previous swims were all under one hour, with the best time going to Kenny King in 1970. The California swimmer paced himself to a 47-minute record. The obvious question here is why swim the dam?
"It's more of a challenge really. More or less to see if you can do it and to see how you stand out among the others," one swimmer said.
"Oh, just to see if I can do it and see how I place among the other people, to see how I do," another swimmer said.
George Villa was the first across the line, but that doesn't mean he won. Swimmers race against the clock only. But George shared his experience.
Muller: What's it like swimming two miles across the dam?
Michelle Rounds was second across the line.
Muller: What was it like, say about in the middle? We talked to George and he said it was very quiet, did you find the same solitude?
Rounds: It was. I'm so scared. It was scary.
Although there are no age limits on entrants, there were only two swimmers over 20. Most swimmers were between age ten and 16. Brad Reynolds of Mitchell turned in the best time of the 40 swimmers: 56 minutes. And so Oahe Days '72 flutterkicked into gear.