Paddleboarder Tackles “Great Lakes Challenge” to Support Mental Health Awareness


Toronto-based paddleboarder Mike Shoreman will tackle the challenge of crossing Lake Superior on July 5, 2022, part of his “Great Lakes Challenge” to cross all five Great Lakes on a paddleboard this summer. A successful completion will make him the first athlete with disabilities to make the trip.

Shoreman will make the 32 mile trip starting at Port Wing, Wisconsin, and ending in Two Harbors, Minnesota; he expects the trip will take around 12 hours, reports 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. The paddleboarder has already successfully crossed Lake Huron and Lake Erie this summer, and plans to cross Lake Michigan later this July and Lake Ontario the week of August 10th.

Dubbing himself the “Unbalanced Paddleboarder,” Shoreman aims to challenge the stereotypes surrounding people with disabilities while inspiring youth struggling with mental illness to achieve their dreams and goals, despite the challenges. “I hope it reminds them people care and people are supporting them,” Shoreman told EYEWITNESS NEWS.

The paddleboarder was diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome in 2018, and suffered from paralyzation to the face and loss of taste, smell, hearing, speech and movement. After a battle with depression, Shoreman returned to his love of paddleboarding and has since become an avid mental health advocate and was named the 2020-2021 International Stand Up Paddleboarding Man of the Year. You can follow his journey on Twitter @MikeShoreman.