Meet the Spirit Orcas

Want to help the Spirit Orcas with their journey. Contributions can be made here
or you can purchase one of their t-shirts or hoodies here.

Cheyenne Furlong Goos aka Chey or Cheybee

Cheyenne first learned to swim in Surrey when she was 1 year old. Her favorite strokes are freestyle and breaststroke and although she is at heart a sprinter, she has embraced the open water. 

Like her teammates Cheyenne finds swimming to be a great form of exercise as it helps her with her body and health. She started open water swimming a year ago wanting to try something different from the pool.

Chey is a supportive teammate and sees that as a fundamental part of being a Spirit Orca.

Meliah Motchman aka the Madame Butterfly

Meliah is the most recent addition to the Spirit Orcas. She has trained hard over the past two years to become a part of the team. Last year Meliah was the first known person he Canada to swim 5 kilometres in the open water. She complete this swim in Thetis Lake on Vancouver Island.

Meliah swims to stay fit. She has been using swimming and veganism as weight management tools since 2016. She has proudly lost over 40 pounds.

A natural in the water, Meliah swims in the pool, lake and ocean. In addition to swimming with the Spirit Orcas she also hopes to complete another lake swim soon. 
Maria Sharock aka Pizza
Maria was born and raised in Victoria and learned to swim right after she was born. Her parents were both lifeguards and her dad a competitive swimmer.

Maria’s favorite stroke is backstroke and she swims to stay fit and healthy. She a good team member and maintains her fitness as she and her teammates work toward their common goal.
Maria has been swimming in the open water for years and has dipped her toes in a number of different lakes and the ocean. She swam at night in Lake Cowichan this summer.

When not swimming Maria has been known to play soccer for Special Olympics and volunteers at a soup kitchen for seniors. 

Aly White aka Flipper

Aly began swimming lessons at Oak Bay Rec Centre at 6 years of age and practiced swimming in her complex pool as a young child. Her favourite stroke is butterfly and she is passionate about open water swimming. She is hard-working and very focused on her goals.  

Swimming helps Aly settle her mind and body. She embraces coach Susan’s challenges and feels like she can do anything when she swims in the open water with her. 
Aly has a very good friend named Ristleson that you will see her carrying around from time to time for encouragement and comfort.

Dixon McGowan aka the Dixonator

Dixon learned to swim in 1982 at the age of 7 at the aquatic centre in West Vancouver. When he was young his grandfather shared his swimming scrapbook with him and from that day Dixon has loved the water. If you ask him his favorite stroke, he will tell you he loves them all! And he does.

Dixon swims to stay in shape, but more importantly, because he loves it. He used to be afraid of swimming in the lake, but since overcoming his fear it’s hard to keep him out. He has also swum at Whaling Station beach on Hornby Island. In Cowichan lake this year he swam at night.

If he could he would swim forever. 
Drew Sabourin aka Drewsie

Drew first learned to swim at the age of 3 and a half at the Esquimalt Rec Centre. His favorite stroke is freestyle and he swims to stay fit. 

Drew likes swimming in both lakes and the ocean. He feels like he is part of nature when in the open water. For the past several years he has swum the 5 km event at Thetis Lake Swim in 1 and a half hours typically placing within the top 3. 

Drew likes whales and playing in water. He also likes being flexible about things, so they work out for everyone. This summer he swam in 6-foot waves in Cowichan.

Ben Vanlierop aka Benny

Ben has always loved being in water. When he was a young boy he would often take baths twice a day just to be in the water. Originally an open water swimmer, at the age of 2 he learned to swim in Florence Lake.

Ben likes swimming all of the strokes and swims because he loves it. He is happy when in the water. Not too long ago he jumped into Lake Louise for a quick swim. 

When not swimming or working at Adriana’s Ben loves to take trips to Vancouver and Winnipeg and writes his own songs. One of his favorite ways to spend Sunday afternoon is performing at the Hootenanny. He is well known for “Daddy You’re too Cheap” and “No Banjos”. 

If you listen closely while Ben is swimming you may hear him singing along the way.

Lidia White: aka Lidster

Lidia started jumping in the water at the age of five at started swim lessons when she was 6. She mainly swam to exercise and mange her mental health. She has been known to compete in the occasional Special Olympic swim competition.

In 2019 Lidia successfully completed her first 5-kilometre open water lake swim and is keen to take on more open water challenges.

When not swimming Lidia works and likes hanging out with her friends. She enjoys making others laugh and is always game for a good laugh herself.