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Monday, August 27, 2012
We Are Swimming In An Era Of Greatness
An estimated 600 million people watched the Navy pilot set foot on the moon in 1969 and heard him utter his most famous statement, "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind" when he stepped off of his lunar module onto the moon.
The humble American astronaut was never one to boost or exaggerate his exploits, although he had every reason to do so. He viewed himself as a "white-sock, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer" and part of a larger team. "I was aware that this [achievement to visit the moon] was the culmination of the work of 300,000 to 400,000 people over a decade."
His biographer described Commander Armstrong as stoic, self-controlled, dedicated, earnest, hardworking and honest. Before he blasted into space in 1969, the former test pilot who proved himself under numerous risky situations said, "The single thing which makes any man happiest is the realization that he has worked up to the limits of his ability, his capacity."
When we think of his life and his legacy, we are reminded of all the great earthly explorers who are living in our current generation. While Armstrong entered history by landing in the Sea of Tranquility on the moon, we are extremely fortunate to witness the exploits of Lynne Cox, Lewis Pugh, Kevin Murphy, Alison Streeter MBE, Michael Read MBE, Marilyn Bell, Vicki Keith, Ram Barkai, Martin Strel, Keo Nakama, Penny Palfrey, Ben Lecomte, Zhang Jian and hundreds of others who have become the first human to swim a particular body of water.
To be a pioneer like Commander Armstrong is not simply a feat of physical endurance and the ability to withstand water and weather extremes, but it also requires the acceptance of significant risks, months of careful planning and diligent research, raising of funds, recruitment of dedicated crew members, and serving as a leader and inspiration to an experienced and able support team. Success is neither assumed nor automatic; it requires focus, dedicated and risk-taking. An unprecedented open water swim is an emotional journey that demands months, and sometimes years, of physical, logistical and psychological preparation.
And never have so many pioneers populated Planet Earth as in the present.
Not only are swimmers attempting major swims in public ways via reporting by traditional media and promotion through online social media, but others are also doing so in private and little-known ways. Publicly or privately, the number of heroes and heroines are increasing day by day in every region of the world.
While manned flights to outer space have been reduced since the heyday of the 1960s, the exploration of the world's bodies of open water is exploding in the 21st century. Open water pioneers in rivers, lakes, bays, islands, channels, seas and oceans - either solo or relay attempts - are too numerous to keep up with.
Incrementally, the pioneers are making a positive impact on the world. Their exploits inspire both young and old alike. Swimmers like 14-year-old Annaleise Carr who crossed Lake Ontario in 26 hours 41 minutes and 70-year-old Dr. Roger Allsopp who crossed the English Channel then go about and inspire even more individuals through their charity swims that raise much-needed funds for those in need. Swimmers like amputee Natalie du Toit and cancer survivor Maarten van der Weijden performed on the world's stage doing superhuman efforts but were so humble and down-to-earth on stage and in front of the world's cameras. Swimmers like Bruckner Chase and Kazuya Suzuki take their passion for the open water across borders and to other cultures, further making the open water world a smaller, more inter-connected world.
So while Captain Matthew Webb dominated the 19th century and swimmers like Duke Kahamamoku, Gertrude Ederle, and Abdul Latif About Heif became well-known in the 20th century, the 1970s saw an explosion of real-life, home-grown, humble heroes. Now in the early part of the 21st century, heroes and heroines are all around us.
Swimmers like Craig Dietz and Philippe Croizon further stretch our imaginations and enable us to think of even greater exploits.
In the troughs of the waves during the lonely hours of training, pangs of pain and long bouts of doubts undoubtedly trouble many, but as the Commander of Sandhurst once told Lewis Pugh, "One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak."
This mindset is enabling and empowering more and more people in the open water swimming world. So many ordinary people are doing extraordinary swims in every kind of body of water. They do not have to be Olympic champions or swim in cold water. They are you.
What a great era to be a part of in the open water swimming world.
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.