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2016 WOWSA Man of the Year – Nejib Belhedi
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Monday, April 25, 2011
In An Emergency, Grab Your Swimsuit And Goggles
They also always have an innocent view of the world. Their actions come sincerely and directly from their heart. They love parental support and adult approval, but they occasionally say or do things that cause adults shake their heads in amazement.
One heart-warming story about a 12-year-old age-group swimmer and her mother clearly illustrate this point. Stacey Kelly, the mother of four, provides the background:
"I am a surgical nurse at a medical center in [northern California]. We occasionally have some really bad fires in the summer. I can see our neighborhood from one of the top floors of the hospital where we live at the edge of the greenbelt. One time, they started to evacuate our neighborhood. I saw the fire coming up over the hill in the distance and started to freak out a bit with four children at home.
My supervisor allowed me to leave. My daughter Lexie was 12 years old at the time and her brothers and sisters were between 10 and 14. I called home and told the kids to get ready immediately and get the dogs and our valuables together. I was there to pick them up in five minutes. They were all standing on the driveway when I got there. The smoke and fire were so close by that time.
And there stood a Lexie with a huge bag of her racing suits, goggles and swim caps. She had arranged for all the other kids get their swimsuits and goggles too.
That was it: no pictures, no albums, no clothes, no money. Just their swimming gear. She was so adorable holding her little mesh bag that I couldn't get mad at her.
Swimsuits and goggles are pretty valuable when you love to swim. Lexie showed me on that day: your children, your dogs and swim stuff - what else do you need in life? After the evacuation, we went shopping for school clothes. In Lexie's case, it was at the local swim shop."
Photo above shows a young Shelley Taylor-Smith similarly dreaming of her future.
Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
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WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
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