Dee Newell grew up close to Lough Corrib on the west coast of Ireland but preferred swimming at the Atlantic shores of Salthill from a young age. She was a competitive swimmer until her mid teens where she made a move to lifeguarding and swim teaching something she continues to this day. Alongside a military career with the Irish Defences Forces, Dee became a marathon swimmer in 2012 when she completed the 13km Galway Bay swim for the first time.
In 2016, she swam it for a second time, as well as discovering ice swimming and completing her first 500m swim in waters below 5 degrees. 2019 was her most adventurous year to date: she swam the English channel solo; swam across the Irish Sea as part of a six person relay; and topped off the year with a short swim from Robben Island to Cape Town. In 2020, she completed an Ice Km swim in Antarctica. Here, she explains how endurance swimming profoundly changed her view on womanhood after a male-dominated military career.