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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Alex Meyer, Swimming Illustrated

"I feel very passionately about many of the same things Fran did - obviously [safety], promoting the sport, inspiring younger kids. That gives a whole other level of meaning and purpose to my career," explained Alex Meyer to ESPN's Bonnie Ford.

NBC Sports Network will broadcast Sports Illustrated tonight at 9 pm New York time, showcasing the story of Alex Meyer and his unusual intriguing path from New York to Harvard and the London Olympics.



The program on the Olympic Bond between Meyer and Crippen will showcase one of the most heart-rendering back stories among the American team at the 2012 London Olympics. The friendship and mutual respect that Meyer and Crippen developed well before Crippen tragically passed away in a FINA World Cup race in Dubai in 2010 is the foundation for a real-life story that will shock and inspire many.

After the initial news of Crippen's death and the global outpouring of sympathy, especially in light of Crippen's previously unknown and behind-the-scenes calls for improved measures of safety, attention and promotion in the sport, the open water swimming community quickly moved to make things better.

Australian administrators established guidelines and rules regarding extreme temperatures and conditions. British Swimming further bolstered its already comprehensive risk-management policies and procedures. USA Swimming took the advice of blue-ribbon panels and implemented new sanctioning requirements and oversight. Mexican Swimming Federation similarly moved to incorporate the advice and practices of experienced marine safety experts.

While Crippen is no longer here, his death triggered a reaction that enabled and encouraged race directors around the world to work harder and more intelligently on minimizing the risks inherent in the sport of open water swimming. Throughout these changes and difficult times, Meyer took the calling that Crippen and he shared to heart. In the media, in administrative committees and behind the scenes, Meyer has been instrumental in keeping Crippen's legacy alive and pushing for improved safety measures at all levels.

Yet those calls from Crippen and Meyer were inexplicably ignored by the executive leadership of FINA. Despite protests from athletes, coaches and at least one administrator, FINA's Executive Director Cornel Marculescu allowed the next FINA World Swimming Championships 25 km race - less than one year after Crippen's death - to be conducted in water temperature greater than the temperature that killed Crippen.

At the world championships in Shanghai, the community was saddened to learn that Marculescu determined that new rules on extreme conditions were not required and guidelines were all that were necessary. For the first time in FINA history, athletes expressed their dismay about questionable safety standards at a world championship, and their worries and complaints were not only ignored, but dismissed outright.

For the first time in FINA history, 3 reigning world champions (Meyer, Linsy Heister and Thomas Lurz) declined to participate in a world championship due to safety issues.

Yet the official FINA response was, "Everything is OK and there are no safety issues." Marculescu had the audacity to push this position to athletes who had looked for Crippen's dead body for over 2 hours.

Imagine any other sport where young athletes had to take the initiative and look for the dead body of a popular athlete...then watched as that fellow competitor was pulled lifeless from the water and...then to be told that there are no safety issues in conditions that were WARMER than what killed their friend and fellow competitor.

But Meyer was principled and pissed.

And rightly so.

Yes, Meyer gave up his opportunity to defend his world championship, but it was a small price to pay for principles and to make a statement to FINA, even if his words were ignored. FINA's post-race report, written by Flavio Bomio and kept confidential, dismissed the concerns of athletes and coaches and ignored the fact that numerous athletes could not finish the race in the 32+°F (90°C) water.

And now almost two years since Crippen's death, there still remains no FINA rules under Marculescu's leadership regarding extreme water conditions. Nothing about cold water and nothing about warm water while this issue has been aggressively pushed by national federations and individual race directors around the world. Despite public and private assurances to the contrary, Marculescu has been focused with other issues. In contrast, fortunately and responsibly, federations and race directors around the world have implemented specific rules, guidelines, protocols and procedures to help improve the situation.

But safety is not an issue in the Serpentine under the able helm of Colin Hill and London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Olympic marathon swim is all about racing fast and racing intelligently. Both of which Meyer can do well.

So well that Sports Illustrated Magazine - America's most popular and authoritative sports publication - has predicted a bronze medal for Meyer behind Lurz of Germany (gold) and Spyros Gianniotis of Greece (silver). If Meyer wins a medal, expect to see much more about him in America. He is represented by the same agent as Michael Phelps. With a story like no other in a sport like no other, Meyer can pave the way to corporate America and Main Street U.S.A. like no other American open water swimmer before him.

Watch the Olympic Bond program - be prepared to be shocked and inspired - and see how Meyer follows up the program with a performance in Hyde Park on August 10th.

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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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

Swim Across the English Channel...

OWSM-CM

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Chloë McCardel is a 6-time English Channel Swimmer who inspires and instructs. Access featured content by Chloë in this month's issue of the Open Water Swimming Magazine. Published monthly by WOWSA, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a digital, interactive publication made available exclusively to WOWSA members. See what you've been missing! Become a WOWSA member today!

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.

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...
LEARN MORE

The Other Shore


The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
LEARN MORE...

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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World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

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