Watch the Emotional Moment This Swimmer Saw the Ocean for the First Time
In 2012, after a car accident, doctors told a young swimmer named Cristina there was only a 30 percent chance she would walk again. Despite those odds, with six long months of rehabilitation, she taught herself to walk — and swim — again.
In the video (below), Cristina says she spent most of her time growing up in Emery, South Dakota, at a local swimming pool. “Swimming is like my second home,” she says. But she’s never seen or swam in the ocean. Until now.
To promote the upcoming film “The Giver,” the Weinstein Company launched the “First Experience” project. Like the main character of the popular book-turned-film, it aims to give people a chance to experience something for the first time. When the company heard Cristina’s story, it joined her father in surprising her with a trip to southern California to jump in the Pacific Ocean.
The video below captures the powerful moment when Cristina removes her blindfold and sees the body of water for the first time.
“It was the best experience of my life, taking my first strokes in the ocean,” she says. “It felt limitless, like I could do anything.”