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Monday, February 18, 2013

Swimming Australia Reviews What Can Be In Rio de Janeiro

Following the disappointing results of Australian swimmers at the 2012 London Olympic Games, the governing body of swimming in Australia and the Australian Sports Commission commissioned a comprehensive and independent study chaired by the Hon. Warwick Smith AM to see how athletic performance, decision-making process and investment in the sport can be improved.

It is a lengthy, thought-provoking 66-page document with data and a plethora of recommendations.

Chairman Mr John Wylie AM summarized their efforts, "The recommendations of the review panel will be fully considered by the Australian Sports Commission Board. I’m encouraged by the thorough analysis of the issues which have confronted swimming and common themes in this report create opportunities for all sports to benefit from lessons learned."

The panel received 30 submissions and met 94 individuals as part of its study of leadership, governance and administration, culture and declining achievement issues confronting the swimming-mad nation of Australia. After the Olympic performances of swimmers from Murray Rose to Ian Thorpe, from Dawn Fraser to Petria Thomas, the expectations of Australia are nothing but golden.

Simon Hollingsworth, chairman of the Australian Sports Commission, welcomed the recent changes. "The panel chair noted that Swimming Australia has already made some encouraging progress in becoming more accountable and transparent under its new leadership. I am particularly pleased that the panel has made some clear recommendations around governance as this is an area that the ASC is placing significant focus on as part of its new strategic direction in Australia’s Winning Edge. Swimming is an important sport to Australia and is a key contributor to the goals set out in Australia’s Winning Edge launched by the ASC last year. This report is a clear message to Swimming Australia to continue its reforms to enable it to return to the top table of international swimming."

The independent swimming review of Swimming Australia is posted here.

While the study was a high-level review of the sport of swimming, we found very little information or specific recommendations on the discipline of open water swimming. In fact, on page 56 of the sport, the panel completely overlooked the Olympic 10km Marathon Swim. We find this oversight surprising for the following reasons:

1. A vast majority of Australia's population resides near the coastline.
2. 40% of Australia's population swims weekly.
3. Australia has a tremendous ocean swimming and surf life saving culture.
4. Australia has hundreds of well-organized, competitive and popular open water swimming events with a long and proud history.
5. Australia has a long and proud history of producing great freestyle pool swimmers.
6. Australia has recently produced a number of great triathletes.
7. The discipline of open water swimming has never been more popular and well-received among the public.
8. Australia has one of the longest serving members on the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee, Shelley Taylor-Smith.
9. Australia has arguably the greatest number of available training venues (pools + open water) in the world.
10. The 2016 Rio Olympic Games marathon swim will be held in Copacabana Beach where the course may be rough and ocean skills will be highly valued. If there is any venue that is well-suited for the stereotypical Australian swimmer with their advanced ocean skills, the 2016 Rio Olympics marathon swim course presents it.

Most surprising (to a certain extent) was the fact that the report pointed out that expenses of the open water swimming program accounted for only 1% of the total swimming expenditures in fiscal year 2012. These expenses related mainly to national camps and tours.

This level of expenditure is undoubtedly disappointing to the elite open water swimmers of Australia for the following reasons:

1. Of all the swimmers in the world, the Australian swimmers have to travel the furthest distances to compete in elite competitions around the world.
2. There are 18 total events in the Olympic swimming program. If each event were allotted equal percentage of the total budget, each event (100/200/400/800/1500m freestyle, 100/200m butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, 200/400m individual medley, 400/800 relays) would receive 5.5% of the budget. But open water was allotted only 1%. Imagine if breaststroke, individual medley or any other specific event were allotted such a low percentage of the budget - those swimmers and coaches would complain about the unfair distribution of funds.
3. Australia is currently represented in the open water swimming world by some of the most personable, humble, attractive, down-to-earth ambassadors and role models possible: Melissa Gorman (shown above), Ky Hurst, Trent Grimsey, and Rhys Mainstone.

We are hopeful this review will stimulate discussions and decisions that will positively benefit the Australian swimming community. For if the governing body and the athletes rise to the occasion, we fully expect to see the green and gold of Australia on the Olympic podium in Copacabana Beach in August 2016.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming

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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

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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.

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.

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Open Water Race Calendar

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