Kim Swims Movie Review -- Open Water Swimming Documentary Available on Netflix
“I swim because I feel so fulfilled... It completes me in a way I didn’t know I needed to be completed.” -- Kim Chambers
SPOILER ALERT. This short review does contain spoilers, so if you would like to learn about this amazing story without hearing it from us first, then head over to Netflix to watch Kim Swims!
Every athlete has ambitious goals. Those brave enough to train and try and stubborn enough not to give up have the opportunity to accomplish theirs.
Kim Swims is a documentary that follows open water swimmer Kim Chambers as she attempts one of the world’s most difficult swims off the coast of San Francisco.
The first half of the film shows Kim training to swim from San Francisco to the remote Farallon Islands, a swim of about 30 miles long. At the time of her swim, only three men had ever successfully completed the swim. If successful, Kim would become the first ever woman.
The documentary, directed by Kate Webbed, was first released in 2017 and is rated TV-14 for mild language and some graphic shots of an injury.
The aforementioned injury, explained in detail here, nearly cost Kim Chambers her leg. Waiting for 30 more minutes before entering the hospital would’ve cost her a leg. It took two years of physical therapy to completely recover from the injury.
That wasn’t her only instance of flirting with danger and death. After continuing a swim through jellyfish after jellyfish, Kim spent days in a hospital, holding on for dear life. She is a fighter who persevered and has never given up her dream of swimming to the Farallon Islands.
This swim features a tremendous distance, risk of sharks and choppy and cold waters.
Kim worked with a team by her side to attempt the swim, which changes as the event nears. The team decides that instead of swimming from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands, starting at the Farallon Islands and ending at the Golden Gate Bridge is the better, safer path.
With her team traveling by her side, Kim grinds for over 17 hours. Although gruelling, she refuses to give up and completes the incredible swim. The documentary ends with Kim talking to reporters about her feat.
Kim Swims is an entertaining, inspirational documentary that serves as a reminder to us all that glory goes to those who never give up. Kim had every reason to give up swimming to the Farallon Islands and swimming altogether. Yet she simply ignored conventional wisdom. She trained and she worked and she pulled off one of the greatest swims anyone has every accomplished.
For open water swimming, this is a must watch. Even for those who have a passing interest in swimming, Kim Swims is an entertaining documentary that is about much more than a swimming accomplishment; it’s about winning in life and overcoming every obstacle to accomplish your dreams.