Columbia River Swimmer to attend Bend Premiere
Jul 27,2006 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources


On July 1, 2003, Christopher Swain completed his 165-day, 1,243-mile swim from the headwaters of the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean, bringing worldwide attention to the threats facing the Columbia River. Swain swam up to 25 miles a day, braved waters as cold as 39 degrees, encountered every toxic from arsenic to zinc, and persisted through the slack water pools behind 14 dams.  Millions watched to see whether he would complete his journey.

Swain achieved his goal, and the new documentary entitled "Source to Sea," produced by Andy Norris, chronicles Christopher Swain's historic swim and the serious challenges facing the Great River of the West.

Screening To Be Held At Tower Theater in Bend, Oregon

One night only: July 29th, 7 pm

The documentary, which reflects the contributions of over 30 Pacific Northwest filmmakers, will be shown at the Tower Theater in Bend on July 29th at 7 pm. Additional screenings are planned in several Columbia River Basin towns, including, Bend, Astoria, Hood River, Wenatchee, Spokane, and Golden, British Columbia. A percentage of Bend ticket sales will be donated to Columbia Riverkeeper and the Juniper Group of the Oregon Sierra Club

"I'm excited to share my hopes for the Columbia with the people of Bend," said Christopher Swain, who will be on a week-long trip to Oregon.  "I'll never forget swimming by the mouth of the Deschutes River on my way down the Columbia. What happens to the Deschutes, happens to the Columbia."

Juniper Group of the Oregon Sierra Club and Columbia Riverkeeper are co-sponsoring the film, which will be followed by a Q&Q session with audience members.

Both groups are enthusiastic about this great opportunity for Bend residents
and visitors to meet Christopher and to share in the promise of his historic swim.

"Christopher Swain's swim down the Columbia is an amazing story that blends the personal struggles Christopher faced with the larger struggles facing the Columbia River and its tributaries," said Brent Foster, Executive Director of Columbia Riverkeeper.  "This is a unique opportunity to experience Christopher's passion and energy for river protection."

"This is an inspiring movie that is especially relevant for Bend residents who have such a close connection to our rivers," explained George Wilson, Chair of the Sierra Club's Juniper Group. "What's great about this movie is that it gives a first-hand look at what's happening on the Columbia and to our salmon through the eyes of a guy who spent more time in the Columbia than probably any human alive."

Tickets for the 90 minutes film are $10, and doors open at 6:30 pm. Tickets are still available for the private wine and cheese reception with Swain at 5:30 pm at the Tower prior to the film's showing. Reception tickets are $20.

About Swain:

Christopher Swain has survived collisions with boats, 12-foot waves, lightning storms, class IV rapids, toxic blue-green algae, lamprey eel attacks, and water contaminated with everything from human waste to nuclear waste.

In 1991, Swain became the first non-native person in history to complete the traditional Apache Run for The Sun Initiation.  In 2003, Swain received an International Earth Day Award at the United Nations, and an E-chievement Award on National Public Radio's E-Town.  In 2004, he was elected to the Men's Journal Adventure Hall of Fame, and was featured as Person of the Week on ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

Stories about Swain's clean water swims have reached a worldwide media audience of more than one billion people.