Open Water Swimmer Survives 9-Foot Alligator Attack

Swimming podcast feature is courtesy of Champion’s Mojo, a SwimSwam partner.

While open water swimming, Racheal Lilienthal lost the majority of her right arm in an alligator attack, and almost her life. She says “Angels” were present that day. Swimming while surrounded by other swimmers and boaters on a hot afternoon, Rachel felt something “rough” skim across her back as she swam. She thought it was an absent minded kayaker, but it was the precursor of the attack by a 9-foot gator. Fast forward six years and after a recovery period, Rachael continues to swim and recently took home gold in the 200 meter butterfly at the 2021 Rowdy Gaines Short Course Meters Masters Classic meet.

Could you relearn everything in your life after losing a limb? Could you do it with a positive attitude? Are Angels among us?

Alligator-attack survivor and Masters swimmer Rachael Lilienthal joins the Champion’s Mojo podcast to share the details of her attack, her road to recovery, thoughts on her angels and the silver linings she recognized along the journey.

“After hosting 132 shows interviewing Olympic Gold Medalists, Olympic Coaches and Champions from all walks of life, this episode has stuck with me and inspired me in ways I couldn’t have imagined”

Kelly Palace, Host Champion’s Mojo Podcast

Why are alligator attacks on the rise? What can you do to help prevent them?  LISTEN TO THIS SHOW HERE.

Rachael is now a Masters swimmer who was attacked by a 9-foot alligator while swimming in open water in the Wekiwa River near Apopka, Florida in 2015. Rachael is a Spanish professor at Rollins College.

Need a health, life or leadership coach? See if working with Kelly or Maria is right for you. Sign up for your free 30-minute consultation HERE.

About Champion’s Mojo: Kelly Palace and Maria Parker are the hosts of the award winning podcast, Champion’s Mojo, where they talk with champion guests, including over 50 Olympic Swimmers and Olympic Coaches.  The Champion’s Mojo podcast discovers techniques, mindsets and new wisdom for growth and success. Not only are Kelly and Maria both world-record holding athletes, they are certified Health and Life Coaches, sisters-in-law and best friends. They are passionate about helping others achieve their goals and overcome life’s adversities. Champion’s Mojo is part of the CG Sports Company and is produced by Kabra Media.

Check out Kelly’s best selling book, Take Your Mark, LEAD! NOW IN HARDCOVER!

Subscribe to the Champions’ Mojo Podcast today and don’t miss an episode. Hosted by Kelly Palace and Maria Parker, you can learn more about the Hosts here.

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Terry Watts
10 months ago


ACC fan
10 months ago

Wow! What a story!