Teenage Boy Swims the Entire Length of Lake Tahoe, Becoming the Youngest Person to Complete Such a Journey


A 14-year-old California boy has become the youngest person to swim the entire 21.3-mile length of Lake Tahoe and complete the alpine lake’s coveted Triple Crown.

James Savage of Los Banos completed the trip across the scenic lake, which straddles the California-Nevada line, in 12 hours on Aug. 1.

Before he accomplished that, Savage swam the other two legs of the Lake Tahoe Triple Crown, all 10 miles or longer.

Savage and his mother, Jillian, agreed that physical training was much easier than the mental endurance it takes to complete such a long-distance swim.

The trip across the lake started in South Lake Tahoe, California, and ended in the Nevada town of Incline Village.

US Missionaries Slaughtered in Haiti, Ambushed by 3 Truck Loads of Gang Members - Biden Silent So Far

She said she knew after the first mile that he would get the job done.

“I had no doubts whatsoever,” Jillian Savage told the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

“He’s been swimming almost every day, six, seven days a week since he was 8. With open water, it’s just what he does.”

“But mentally, even though it takes a whole bunch of us to make the swim possible, he’s really out there by himself,” she added.

Should more teenagers feel inspired to achieve incredible milestones like James Savage?

James Savage said he enjoys swimming in pools, but they’re pretty much “all the same.”

“Open water, you can swim in oceans, lakes, and you get to travel around,” he said.

Last August, at age 13, Savage became the youngest to complete the 12-mile “true width swim.”

The swim is also known as the “Godfather” swim because it starts on Tahoe’s west shore at the site of a mansion in Homewood, California, featured in the movie “The Godfather: Part II.”

He also swam the 10-mile Vikingsholm route that traverses the southern portion of Lake Tahoe, known for its pine tree-lined beaches and ski resorts.

Paul Pelosi Attacker's Prison Sentence Is in Limbo After Judge's Error

And at age 8, he swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco.

The latest swim was piloted by Captain Tom “Reptile” Linthicum of Lake Tahoe Marathon Swim Federation.

The team also included an official observer and pace swimmer. In addition, Jillian Savage served as a kayaker for the trip.

Mom’s biggest worry originally was he might abandon the trip after a few hours if it became monotonous.

“It’s not like he can sit and talk to us when he gets bored. His face is in the water and so really, he’s by himself,” Jillian Savage said.

“But this time, he kept telling me, ‘Mom, I feel so much better mentally prepared this time.’ And he went out, and he just did such a great job,” she said.

Now that he is the youngest person to achieve the title of Triple Crown, James said he is not sure what he wants to do next.

His mom says he will likely set his sights high.

“When he started this whole open water thing and he told me, ‘Mom, I want to swim from Alcatraz,’ and we kind of laughed in his face,” she said.

“We let him do it kind of hoping and thinking it would be a one and done, and he got out and he said, ‘I want to do this again. When’s the next one?’” she said.

“And it just kept going and going and going and his feats kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and I’m kind of afraid to see what he wants to do next. But whatever it is, we’ll make it happen.”

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , ,
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City