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Friday, August 24, 2012
Greta Andersen To Engage, Entertain, Explain On The Queen Mary
She continued her unprecedented and unsurpassed career for another 20 years as the only person in history to win both an individual gold medal at the Olympics and set an English Channel record.
Dial forward 64 years and the vivacious Danish-born champion will entertain and engage the audience at the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame ceremonies in Long Beach, California on September 22nd.
She will show rarely-seen vintage footage of her swims and explain what she went through back in the day. She will explain her experiences at the 1948 London Olympic Games, her subsequent immigration to the United States, her daily 10-mile training swims in Long Beach without goggles, and her head-to-head duals against the best male pro marathon swimmers of her era.
"I will talk about the 50-mile race in Lake Michigan...where the nearest man was 10 miles behind me," she described. "Oh, we swam all over the world, in the English Channel (5 times) and with sharks in Molokai, in Mexico." Her illustrious and unprecedented career in the pool and ocean has been documented on television and in print, but to her own words is truly special with her colorful descriptions, twinkling eyes and infectious laughter. Register here to meet and listen to one of the most vivacious, gracious, and entertaining swimmers around.
Soon to turn 86 years old, she continues to work 8 hours a day, teaching children how to swim. And she continues to do it all with a smile, creating an ambiance of joy.
After moving from her native Denmark to Long Beach, California, she did manual labor to make ends meet, sewing zippers on pants. But then she turned back to the water and developed her second aquatic career in marathon swimming. Her swims in the 1950s and 60s were well-documented in newspapers and magazines, but listening to her recollection in person is priceless. "I swam in the Molokai Channel, from Molokai to Oahu, in a shark cage. My sponsors did not want to take a chance. But after getting seasick in the turbulence caused by the cage, I swam outside the cage only to be surrounded by sharks. But then the dolphins came around...and I thought everything would be OK," recalled the Olympic champion who most definitely had no intention of getting out.
"I kept on swimming, but the sharks were all around me, circling underneath. They were always circling. Circling, circling," she laughed with a glisten in her eye by someone who obviously relishes adventure. "I could see the sharks in the clear water. I was in the water for a long time, many hours, but then my crew finally pulled me out. There were no questions asked. They just got me out of there. I had a lot of sponsors in those days - Hilton Hotels, Roman Meal Bread - so we were disappointed. But that is our sport - there are always risks."
But solo swims were only part of her resume. From being a sprinter in the pool to racing the best men of her era across the world, she never backed down from challenges or competitors. She trained hour every day, swimming without goggles, off Long Beach, and relentlessly swam through sharks, jellyfish, the cold and waves.
"The races in the English Channel were incredible (see videos below). We had helicopters covering the races. There was so much coverage and so many boats. With the traffic in the Channel, there was a lot happening. We didn't have all the technology like today. We just swam hard. But I was in shape. I used to hire lifeguards to paddle for me during my training. Down by Belmont Plaza [in Long Beach], I used to go for daily 10-mile swims. Every day, training hard."
Andersen was renowned for her high tempo stroke-per-minute pace and strong kick with great body position. You can see her in a cap overtaking the world's top men in the 1958 42 km (26-mile) marathon swim in Guaymas, Mexico:
Andersen set English Channel records - in both directions - from France to England in 11 hours and 1 minute, and from England to France in 13 hours and 10 minutes within the decade after her 1948 London Olympic victory. She kept up a strong pace and a strong kick during her 1958 victory in Billy Butlin's professional English Channel International Race which she won in 11 hours:
She also was the first person to swim the Santa Catalina Channel both ways (see photo above). "No one else had done a double-crossing before, so it was something to do. In those days, we didn't know about the effects of the tides on a swimmer. I remember swimming for 4 straight hours over the same rock off of Catalina. Four hours and I was swimming hard over the same rock. Instead of 26 hours, I should have down a 22-hour swim," laughed Andersen as she recalled her historic swim in the Pacific. "If I had known what I was getting into, I wouldn't have done it."
After a strong first leg of 10 hours and 49 minutes, she eventually finished in 26 hours and 53 minutes. Her determination and sheer exhaustion upon her completion are quite dramatic, see below:
From London to Long Beach, she has certainly lived a remarkable life.
Register here to participate in the 2012 International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame ceremonies and Global Open Water Swimming Conference.
Upper photo of Greta Andersen finishing her historic Catalina Channel double-crossing swim by the Long Beach Press Telegram.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference
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...
Who else is looking for a qualified open water swimming coach to help them swim across the English Channel?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 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.