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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

WOW ... Whatta Year Of Achievement

Creativity, commitment and courage.

These are the common threads among the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Award recipients this year:

Stephen Redmond, the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year from Ireland.

Annaleise Carr, the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year from Canada.

Juan Ignacio Martínez Fernández-Villamil, the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year from Spain.

SWIM Channel by Patrick Winkler from Brazil, the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

Stephen Redmond's 3-year quest to achieve the pinnacle of channel swimming was culminated when he finally achieved the Oceans Seven. It was a battle that tested him physically, mentally, emotionally, logistically and financially. But he was creative in his approach, committed to the cause, and was courageous every stroke of the way.

Annaleise Carr's 26 hour 41 minute struggle across Lake Ontario was a catalyst to bring attention and much-needed funds for children with cancer. Her genuine commitment and sincere approach to helping others was non-stop and mature beyond her 14 years.

Juan Ignacio Martínez Fernández-Villamil's 55-year journey in creating and shaping one of the world's greatest open water swimming extravaganzas in Navia, Spain. His life-long passion is a year-round effort, always with the most memorable, creative, and finest intentions in mind for the open water swimmers of the Descenso a Nado de la Ria de Navia.

SWIM Channel Magazine is the life-long culmination of the deeply embedded swimming enthusiasm by Patrick Winkler of Brazil. His commitment to the sport and his promotion of athletes and events helps develop and support the entire Portuguese-speaking community of open water swimmers and supporters.

"The WOWSA Awards is a means to bring attention to some of the greatest athletes, coaches, organizers, events, technologies and products of the sport of open water swimming," explained Steven Munatones of the World Open Water Swimming Association. "We feel it is important for the general public, swimmers and swimming fans around the world to have a choice in who they select. And every year without fail, the public comes up with outstanding recipients who serve well as ambassadors of the sport.

But it is not only the winners who are celebrated. With so many people of every age, ability and background jumping in the water, it is increasingly difficult to select the nominees - all of whom are also outstanding in every way. The open water swimming community is very fortunate to have so many of these incredible individuals involved in the sport. Young and old, disabled and able, amateur and pro, slow and fast, athlete and coach, organizers and administrators: the world of open water swimming is founded and led by wonderfully humble role models

The history of the WOWSA Awards shows the geographic spread of the luminaries in the sport:

World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year Recipients:
2008: Randy Nutt (USA)
2009: Petar Stoychev (Bulgaria)
2010: Marcos Diaz (Dominican Republic)
2011: Jamie Patrick (USA)
2012: Stephen Redmond of Ireland

World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year Recipients:
2008: Edith van Dijk (Netherlands)
2009: Poliana Okimoto (Brazil)
2010: Anne Marie Ward (Ireland)
2011: Pilar Geijo (Argentina)
2012: Annaleise Carr (Canada)

World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Recipients:
2009: Andrew Smiley (Cayman Islands)
2010: Ventura Deep Six (USA)
2011: Nejib Belhedi (Tunisia)
2012: Juan Ignacio Martínez Fernández-Villamil (Spain)

World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year Recipient:
2012: SWIM Channel produced by Patrick Winkler of Brazil

And, as usual, this year's nominees show how greatness is distributed around the globe:

Man of the Year Nominees:
1. Benjamin Schulte (Guam) – Fearless Olympic Marathoner
2. Craig Dietz (USA) – The Limbless Waterman
3. Colin Hill (Great Britain) – Olympic Showman
4. Doug Woodring (Hong Kong) – Ocean Environmentalist
5. Milko van Gool (Netherlands) – Humanitarian Swimmer
6. Oussama Mellouli (Tunisia) – Olympic Champion
7. Pierre Lafontaine (Canada) – Able & Ambitious Administrator
8. Ram Barkai (South Africa) – Mindful Ice Man
9. Salvatore Cimmino (Italy) – Swimming in the Seas of the Globe
10. Stephen Redmond (Ireland) - Oceans Seven Pioneer
11. Thomas Lurz (Germany) - Ambassador and Gentleman
12. Trent Grimsey (Australia) - English Channel Record Breaker
13. Wayne Riddin (South Africa) – Midmar Mile Director
14. Wayne Soutter (South Africa) – The Unthinkable
15. Morrie Chiang (Taiwan) – Sun Lake Moon Director

Woman of the Year Nominees:
1. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil), World Professional Marathon Champion
2. Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden), Oceans Seven Swimmer
3. Annaleise Carr (Canada), Young Marathon Swimmer
4. Catherine Vogt (USA), Dual Olympic Coach
5. Diana Nyad (USA), Xtreme Dreamer
6. Esther Nuñez Morera (Spain), Professional Marathon Swimming Champion
7. Grace van der Byl (USA), Marathon Record Breaker
8. Janel Jorgensen McArdle (USA), Swim Across America President
9. Julia Washbourne (Hong Kong), Eco-Swimming Aquapreneur
10. Karen Gaffney (USA), Swimming Philanthropist
11. Keri-Anne Payne (Great Britain), British Open Water Icon
12. Pat Gallant-Charette (USA), Channel Swimming Late Bloomer
13. Risztov Éva (Hungary), Olympic Champion
14. Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia), Pioneering Administrator
15. Tina Neill (USA), San Clemente Channel Swimmer

Performance of the Year Nominees:
1. Alina Warren (Scotland), Swimming Great Glen Way
2. Brenton Williams (South Africa), Deep Blue Flying
3. Dan Projansky (USA), Flying Down The Red River
4. Dutch Ladies First (Netherlands), English Channel Relay Record
5. Frank Flowers (Cayman Islands), Blossoming In The Cayman Islands
6. Haley Anderson (USA), Silver Lining At the Olympics
7. James Pittar (Australia), Shelley Beach Swim
8. Juan Ignacio Martínez Fernández-Villamil (Spain), The Heart of Navia
9. Lexie Kelly (USA), Open Water Swimming Archivist
10. Night Train Swimmers (USA/New Zealand), SF to SB Relay
11. Penny Palfrey (Australia), Marathon Adventurer
12. Philippe Coizon (France), Bering Strait Crossing
13. Saint Martin Island Long Distance Channel Swimming in Bangladesh
14. Stephen Redmond (Ireland), Tsugaru Channel Crossing
15. Trent Grimsey (Australia), English Channel Record

Offering of the Year Nominees:
1. Big River Man by Martin Strel
2. Channel Swimmers' Chat Group by Nick Adams
3. Cork Distance Week by Ned Denison
4. FINIS SwiMP3 X18 by John Mix
5. Foggle by Karen Smidt-Allard
6. In My Element by Theodore Yach
7. iSwimToo by Stephen Coulter
8. Marathon Swimmers Forum by Evan Morrison & Donal Buckley
9. Midmar Mile Facebook Integration by Wayne Riddin
10. Night Train Swimmers by Vito Bialla
11. Ocean Care Solutions by Ron Adley
12. Open Water Swimming Insurance by Travis England
13. Oceans Seven Project by Red Bull Media House
14. RC Helicam by Andrew Martens
15. SWIM Channel by Patrick Winkler
16. SwimIT by Rick Senn
17. SwimPhone by Club Assistant
18. SwimTrek by Simon Murie
19. TakeItLive by Chris Lundie
20. Toa o le Tai Program by Bruckner Chase
21. The Henley Swim by Tom Kean

In one of the most awe-inspiring years of open water swimming on record, the community salutes all the WOWSA Award recipients and nominees.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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