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Sunday, March 17, 2013
Two Million Swimmers - The Courage Of Dennis And Dewey
Unfortunately, they both lost most of their vision during their time in the hospital incubator.
But that disability never stopped the competitive pair. As they grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, they relished life and all its challenges. They not only had a burning spirit within, but they also had each other
As they grew, their parents sent them to the Faribault School for the Blind, a boarding school 200 miles away from home.
Dependent upon their tight bonds as a competitive pair of twins, the dynamic duo constantly pushed and supported each other far away from home gradually building up a reputation for a remarkable physical prowess.
Despite their lack of sight, they took on any dare and physical challenge including wrestling where they led their school to the state championships - a remarkable feat for a school with only disabled students.
Then on August 14th 1960, they heard about the Viking Endurance Swim, a new open water swimming competition in nearby Lake Superior. They were game. Nothing was going to stop them from joining in. The race was a 3.9-mile course held along Park Point, a long, narrow sand spit that separates Lake Superior from Superior Bay and the Duluth Harbor (shown above).
Held on a cold day, 24 athletes stood shivering on the shoreline together with Dennis and Dewey. Blind but determined with a plan to swim together, the brothers dove into Lake Superior, hugging the shoreline at Park Point with the rest of the field. But the elements were not cooperative on that cold summer day in 1960 where only 7 swimmers finished due to hypothermia.
Dewey had to get out with cramps due to the cold, but Dennis carried on the family name not wanting to given in to the elements.
Even without Dewey, Dennis was not about to quit, and eventually finished the race. "I used Vaseline on my body, but it was cold," he recalled. "There were a lot of college competitive swimmers in the group, but Dewey and I were only in high school. They only held the race once because so many people experienced hypothermia."
Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming
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.
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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.
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.