Emily McDermott

A Whitewater Voluntary Swimmer 

Emily is self-described as a pretty average chick with light brown hair, two nose rings and some semi-large ear holes, also your right-hand gal (minus the right hand)...dead giveaway if she is wearing a t-shirt, irrelevant if she is in her usual mega-baggy attire.

What are your three most prized accomplishments?

Public speaking in front of a crowd of 400 people at the age of 6, getting up on water skis, clipping into a bolt with my little hand

Describe yourself to a stranger so that they could find you on a crowded street…

What are your three favorite things to do?

Try to paddle but mostly swim through gnarly whitewater, lie on warm rocks in the sun/sometimes climb up them and educate keen individuals on the outdoors/flora & fauna/fun facts.

Where are your three favorite places to be?

Pretty much anywhere outside, but I especially enjoy the Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Little Cove at Bruce Peninsula National Park and Lake Moraine in Banff National Park.

What is your greatest passion?

Ah! Such a difficult question. I think my passion is being connected and immersed in nature, but also, connecting to people through nature.

What keeps your passion alive?

Seeing the little light turn on, and the glow that others emit when they realize how valuable our earth's gifts are, from the resources to its healing and protective nature.

What is one thing that people don't know about you, but should?

I call my right hand my "little hand" rather than residual limb, stump, nub or whatever word you can come up with, and absolutely despise the word "disabled" as I am extremely able.

What is your wildest adventure?

Traveling in a motorhome cross-country with my immediate family...you wanna talk about adventures? Put four strong personalities in a 30ft motorized vehicle. Oh yeah, and two dogs.

If you could go anywhere and do anything, what would it be?

Back to my childhood when it's completely acceptable to be carefree and ask all the questions I never did, but also to the Northwest Territories for a longish self-sustained expedition.

What is your personal definition of feminism?

Feminism to me is all about equality. Sometimes using the word feminism throws me off a little bit because it can be deceiving as to what you stand for but I believe at its basis, what we all should be striving towards is equal opportunity

What do you find valuable in being a woman in the adventure/outdoor industry?


Who is another woman who inspires you/your WCW (include an Instagram handle, if available)?

In all honesty, this question has really frustrated me, because I genuinely can't think of a single female that I have idolized or been inspired by, which I think speaks volumes to the lack of publicity and/or acknowledgment of powerful and inspiring female figures in this industry.

In the coming years, where would you like to see women in sports/adventure/outdoors?

EVERYWHERE! but really I would love to see more women being bad-ass and shown off as much as our male counterparts.

For more, you can follow Emily on Instagram.