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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Failure To Finish Is Not Failure

Risk is a fundamental part of open water swimming. Uncertainty is also part of the equation as are the vagaries of the weather and water and marine life.

The only reasonable assumption in an open water swim is to Expect The Unexpected.

So in my opinion and observation, failure in the open water swimming world does not exist. Whether it is the English Channel, the Olympics or a solo swim somewhere in the world, swimmers occasionally do not or cannot finish what they start. But they do not fair; they simply do not finish. These are 2 different things.

Sometimes, not finishing is done in a private way in front of a few escort crew and friends. Other times, it is done in a very public way. For example, 8% of the Olympic female athletes competing in the 2012 London Olympic Games marathon swim did not finish. That 8% did not finish in front of 30,000 people and a worldwide TV audience.

But they can walk out of the open water with their head held high and their shoulders back. Smile for they prepared for and attempted a feat that was not easy.

And there is always another day to swim again. Something that Thomas Burgess was well-known for.

The 1900 Olympic pool swimmer from Great Britain and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer became the second man to swim the English Channel in 22 hours 35 minutes in 1911 on his 16th attempt.

15 times he did not finish, but he never failed.

No risk, no reward. No guts, no glory. No start, no success.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

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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.

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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.

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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.

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