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2016 WOWSA AWARDS
Vote in All Four CategoriesThe World Open Water Swimming Association is pleased to present the 2016 WOWSA Award Nominees.
The nominees are presented in the following four categories:
Monday, July 30, 2012
Shaving Down At The Olympics Marathon Swim
But what do open water swimmers do?
It depends. One size does not fit all in the open water swimming world. From training habits to feeding, open water swimmers follow an exceeding wide range of parameters.
And shaving down is no different.
But at the Olympics marathon swimming 10km all athletes will shave down. Every last bit of physiological and psychological benefit will be used to the maximum at the Olympics by the 25 female and 25 male finalists in the marathon swim.
No question about it - the Olympic marathon swimmers will be as sleek as a supermodel's legs.
In other competitions, some athletes like English Channel world record holder Petar Stoychev and Olympians like Mark Warkentin shave down for open water swimming events while marathon swimming world record holder Vicki Keith and double Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming's Antonio Argüelles believe shaving is best limited to a few areas.
FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee's Sid Cassidy believes in both sides of the shaving issue, "I believe shaving can be very valuable in certain situations: the fastest swimmers in the world shave for big events in no small part because it is psychologically comforting. If one believes it will help, it certainly will. I would be willing to bet that every American woman with a dream to swim in the 2012 London Olympics will shave [at the USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships] in Ft. Myers.
I am fairly certain all the swimmers shaved at the 2008 Beijing Olympics marathon swim. But as for those of us in the "old days" of professional marathon swimming, I never shaved."
Antonio is more representative of most open water swimmers, "I have never shaved my body for an open water swim. It only makes sense in those areas that can cause an irritation. In my case, the hair in my face is the area that I put attention."
Vicki Keith agrees. And if there is another who has had an excuse to chafe, it is Vicki with several cold-water solo swims over 24 hours. "Shaving down for open water swims - beyond normal shaving - never made sense to me. It is important to be clean shaven in areas you may rub: facial hair on men and underarms on women. For multiple-day swims, I would often use an epilator on my underarms to avoid stubble. Yes it hurt, but not rubbing was a priority. I did shave down for an endurance swim in a pool once, and I found it made absolutely no difference in my physical performance, but I felt cold earlier. Maybe it was psychosomatic, but it felt real to me."
Some swimmers make different decisions depending on certain situations. American champion Mark Warkentin says, "I always shaved my head and my entire body for big races with water temperatures above 80°F (27°C). On the other side, I tried to grow a beard for 2007 World Swimming Championships in Melbourne [where the water was colder]. In Seville at the 2008 World Championships when the water temp was around 75°F (24°C), I shaved my arms and chest, but since we were all wearing swimsuits that went down to our ankles, I didn't feel the need to shave my legs. That was the only race that was a bit of a toss-up because the water temperature was just below 75°F and I wasn't sure if it was worth the cost/benefit of being colder versus the benefits of shaving.
I recommend shaving if the water is hot simply as a matter of keeping your core temp under control. It becomes more of a matter of what each individual swimmer would describe as their point of comfort/discomfort in relation to being cold versus overheating. I would assume that Stoychev and I are significantly different in terms of our temperature comfort levels and thus we would likely have different outlooks on shaving (for overheating purposes). As a pool swimmer, I was faster shaved than unshaved. So it wouldn't make sense to pass on that obvious advantage, at least psychological, in open water swimming races as well."
Part 1 of this 3-part series on shaving down is here. Part 3 of this 3-part series is here. Introduction to this 3-part series is here.
For more information on the Olympics marathon swimming 10km, click here.
Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe 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...
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.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn 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:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.