Wind Swimmer sculpture returns to Kitsilano Pool after three-year absence

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Kitsilano Pool’s resident swimmer is back.

After a three-year absence, the Wind Swimmer sculpture, a woman in a bathing suit with articulated limbs that allow her to swim through the air propelled by the wind, has returned to her perch by the pool.

The Wind Swimmer sculpture returned to its perch overlooking Kitsilano Pool this month after a three-year absence. Photo courtesy Vancouver Park Board

The artwork required extensive repairs after it took a dive and was damaged during an intense windstorm in August 2015.

“This particular artwork is a result of a successful partnership between the Park Board, artist Doug Taylor, and philanthropists Herb and Mary Auerbach,” park board cahir Stuart Mackinnon said in a press release. “With its new engineering components, we hope it will stand the test of time… and windstorms of the future.”

Originally commissioned more than 20 years ago, the vast majority of the repair work was done by park board trades staff — the paint specs were developed by the superintendent of the paint shop and an experienced park board welder did the fabrication — with the goal of capturing the artist’s original vision while incorporating new safety standards developed by the city’s public art department.

“I am delighted to see the Wind Swimmer restored to her perch above Kits Pool,” artist Doug Taylor said in a press release. “On the day she was reinstalled Herb Auerbach and I swam at the pool and were greeted by swimmers who have missed her over the past three years,” he added. “Many Vancouverites swimming at Kits as children in the 1990s bonded and embraced her as an icon in their city.”

Taylor is also the artist behind Khenko, a wire sculpture of a heron and four large wind driven sails that calls George Wainborn Park home.