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Thursday, June 28, 2012

What Swimsuit To Wear At The Olympics?

Maarten van der Weijden, the eventual Olympic 10km Marathon Swim gold medalist, faced a huge decision before the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

It had nothing to do with his strategy, his choice of hotel, his arrival date, his nutrition, how much to workout, when to taper, or when to do altitude training. Rather, his major decision centered on his choice of a swimsuit.

It was not even as easy as a choice between Speedo and TYR or between Arena and blueseventy. The decision involved something more.

His choice, frankly, was much more complicated and potentially financially risky. His national governing body was sponsored by one swimsuit company...but his first choice in a swimsuit was another manufacturer. When a national governing body is sponsored by a swimsuit company, it often receives not only swimsuits for its Olympic and national team members, but also uniforms and a variety of additional swag for its coaches, administrators, and junior national team members. The value-in-kind donation is generally worth a lot of money.

But with such donations, expectations are raised both explicitly and implicitly. From a commercial perspective of a for-profit company, if that company sponsors an entire nation's swimming program, then it is reasonable to expect that country's top swimmers will wear the company's swimsuits and uniforms. The company makes an investment in a program because it makes marketing and, ultimately, financial sense.

Realistically, this is a great win-win situation for both the company doing the donation (sponsorship) and the non-profit governing body involved as well as all the swimmers, coaches and administrators who are outfitted for free. Everyone gains. And as every athlete knows, wearing their country's colors and uniforms at international competitions instills profound pride.

For athletes of some countries like the USA, the swimmers received t-shirts, polo shirts, walking shorts, board shorts, hats, swimsuits, swim caps, ear plugs and a wide variety of other equipment, gear and goodies. For athletes in other countries, the donated items are much fewer in number.

However, the situation comes to a head when the swimmer wants to wear a swimsuit from a different company than the sponsoring company. Goggles are usually not a problem and the swim caps are usually not an issue because in international competitions, a 3-letter country code and/or country flag is required on the swim caps. The sponsoring company provides these mandatory swim caps.

So what does a swimmer do who wants to use a swimsuit by a competing manufacturer?

In many cases, the swimmer is free to choose what swimsuit they can wear. It is not the ideal situation for the sponsoring company or the administrators of the national governing body, but everyone realizes that the swimmer must be comfortable and confident in their choice of a swimsuit in order to perform well. But in some cases, the national governing body makes it a requirement and the athlete must abide by the situation.

Such is the situation that swimmers like South Africa's Jessica Roux and Troy Prinsloo may face in London. While they received a Speedo kit sponsorship that provides them with valuable Speedo gear and the latest Speedo FASTSKIN3 Racing System, Swimming South Africa is officially sponsored by Arena.

Decisions, decisions.

While Olympic marathon swimming gold medal favorite Keri-Anne Payne favors the Speedo FASTSKIN3 Racing System, there were surprisingly few top swimmers who are wearing the latest system by Speedo at the FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier or at many Olympic Swimming Trials around the world. Touted by many of the world's fastest swimmers like Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, it seems that its reach in the open water swimming world is less enthusiastic than expected.

But if Payne wears the System while winning the Olympic marathon swim, the initial tepid enthusiasm may boil over to a fever pitch.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

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The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE

The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.

The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.

The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.

Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.

The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.

"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."

Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."

The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme

Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]

Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland

Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance

Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony

Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute

The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:

* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year

For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:

* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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Open Water Swimming Magazine


Open Water Swimming Magazine

The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

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2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac



An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.

But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...

Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
https://www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com/preview-open-water-swimming-almanac


The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.

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