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Thursday, May 30, 2013
What A Year Doug Northway Had In 1984
It was the who's who of that era, but who was Doug Northway? How did a lanky, personable multi-lingual swimmer from Arizona compete with the world's marathon swimming best?
It took 3 things:
Years of relentless practice, a positive belief in himself, and an intensity in the water during competition.
Northway was a high school student in Sahuaro, Arizona when he dropped his 1500m time by 45 seconds between the 1971 National Championships and the 1972 USA Olympic Swimming Trials. As a 17-year-old high student at the 1972 Munich Olympics, Northway received a bronze medal in the 1500m freestyle (16:09.25). He later entered the University of Arizona, and won the 400m freestyle at the 1975 Pan American Games, qualified for the 1976 Montréal Olympics (shown above during the 800m freestyle relay that set a world record), and later made the USA Olympic Swim Team that never participated.
His love of distance swimming never wavered as he approached the ripe age of 30. Given his success in 1972, 1976, and 1980, it made quadrennial sense that he revved up the mileage again in 1984. That year, he trained as best he could in the desert pools of Arizona and entered the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation circuit. Not surprising himself, Northway enjoyed a remarkable year in 1984 when he won the 32 km Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean in 7 hours 37 minutes and second at the 34 Traversée Internationale du lac Memphrémagog in Quebec, Canada as well as the 24-mile Cabo San Lucas (Mexico) professional race at the tip of beautiful Baja California.
Photo by Harry Cabluck of the world record setting American 800m freestyle relay at the 1976 Olympics with Doug Northway on the right with Tim Shaw on left and Mike Bruner in the foreground.
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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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.
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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.