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Monday, August 6, 2012

Olympic Marathon Swim – A Seminal Moment In Open Water

When 25 women and 25 men dive into the Serpentine during the 2012 London Olympic Games, mankind’s relationship vis-à-vis the open water will undergo its greatest transformation since Captain Matthew Webb first crossed the English Channel in 1875.

It will be a seminal moment in open water swimming history, but more importantly, it will help to profoundly transform mankind’s thoughts regarding swimming in oceans, lakes, bays and rivers.

Watching the world’s fastest swimmers compete in a 6-loop course in a man-made lake in the middle of one of the world’s greatest urban parks will open up the eyes of many in the global community.

Webb’s transformative swim across the English Channel was reported via 19th century means and was never witnessed by anyone other than those relative few who were on his escort team.

Swims like Lynne Cox’s swim across the Bering Strait or Lewis Pugh’s swim in the North Pole or Martin Strel’s stage swim down the Amazon or Diana Nyad’s attempts to swim from Cuba to Florida were certainly shown and archived on YouTube and TV news. Their extreme exploits were widely broadcast by various news agencies around the world. But these pioneering swimmers were doing extraordinarily rare swims; outlandish exploits that could never reasonably be attempted or completed by anyone by a select few who were sufficiently prepared, trained and financed.

Conversely, the 50 finalists of the Olympic marathon swim will be swimming in a flat lake during summer in relatively warm water and comfortable conditions in a protected venue readily accessible to millions in one of the world’s best-known cities.

The 50 marathon swimmers will swim fast, but will demonstrate to a live worldwide television and online audience that swimming outside a pool can be enjoyable, exciting and entertaining.

Like snowboarders in winter and triathletes in summer, the open water swimmers will showcase their skills, enticing millions of people around the world to give their sport a shot.

The impression of "it can’t be done" will change to "I want to give it a try."

For millennium, swimming in the open water was not within the realm of mankind’s possibilities. Most humans feared swimming in the world’s oceans, lakes and rivers. With the exception of fisherman and sailors, most people considered the open water to be dangerous and mysterious.

Throughout history, people could not possibly imagine a sport like open water swimming. Swimming was neither a hobby nor a sport for tens of thousands of year. The shorelines created natural boundaries where people never crossed.

But over the last century, that fear of the unknown has been replaced by the challenge of the open water. Mothers now buy goggles for their children instead of telling them to avoid the water. Fathers who never ventured themselves in deep water watch with pride as their sons surf, paddle or compete in the open water.

On August 9th (women) and 10th (men), millions of people worldwide will simultaneously watch the Olympics swimmers demonstrate the beauty and majesty of swimming in the open water. While they swim for nearly 2 hours in Hyde Park, they will nearly be indistinguishable but for their swim caps and numbers on their hands and shoulders.

Swimmers from 34 countries on 5 continents will prove that men and women can swim safely and expertly in the open water. Others will not be so fast, so proficient or so dedicated, but the joy they share in the open water can be equal to that experienced by the Olympians. The swimmers will inspire their fellow citizens in small countries like Hong Kong and Guam, in large countries like Russia and China, in tropical countries like Malaysia and in mountainous countries like Switzerland. African, Asian, European or American, viewers of the marathon swimmers will be inspired to attempt their own open water swim.

Non-swimmers will be fascinated by the ability of these Olympic swimmers to compete in a venue where they are no lane lines and no walls, no stopping and no mercy. The sleek, streamlined nature of Olympic pool swimmers spending hours per day training in expensive air-conditioned, climate-controlled structures and competing with one person per lane is as foreign to most humans as is a dialect spoken on Papua New Guinea.

But every human on Earth knows of an open body of water. They can imagine walking down to the shoreline, and if properly prepared, swimming past waist-deep water. The cost is free, the opportunities are endless, and the restrictions are few.

When the world watches the marathon swimmers, they will appreciate the sense of adventure and the feeling of accomplishment that the Olympians realize. They will enjoy the thrill of competition and appreciate the ambiance of the outdoors.

And they will want to give it a try in lakes, rivers, bays and oceans around the world in wetsuits and board shorts, with goggles and without, in competition and just for fun.

On August 9th and 10th the eyes of the world will be opened to the possibilities in the open water. Open water will be embraced to various degrees by both the sport’s governing bodies and the general public.

Their acceptance and participation in the sport will lead to endless possibilities and profound changes in the sport – and it will be good.

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

Swim Across the English Channel...

OWSM-CM

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 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...
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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.

SponsorMySwim.com

Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program