BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One Baltimore woman made history in a unique sport.

Katie Pumphrey is an Open Water Swimmer. She recently became the 73rd woman in history to complete The Three Swims, the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.

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“When you finish the swim, I mean, there’s nothing quite like standing on the shore and realizing what you just did,” she said. “It’s an honor to join so many women that have made this sport more possible.”

When you can’t find Pumphrey in the water, you’ll find her painting.

“You can look at a painting and have [the] experience,” she said.

She paints based on her inspiration from the many miles she’s spent in the water.

“There are moments where it feels chaotic and crazy and overwhelming, and then it kind of levels out a bit. I want a painting to do that,” Pumphrey said.

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Over the winter, Pumphrey got COVID-19. Her doctors were worried there would be lasting effects.

“Because there’s some evidence of endurance athletes having cardiac issues,” Pumphrey said.

But she’s been given the green light to start training again.

“I love the experience of these long swims,” she said.

Pumphrey said she plans to do all of those Triple Crown swims for a second time, starting with the English Channel next year.

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“There’s something truly magical about those swims,” she said. “I love it.”

Annie Rose Ramos