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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Festivities Of Traversée du lac Memphrémagog Begin

The festivities at the Traversée Internationale du lac Memphrémagog began tonight under fantastically magical conditions. The light breeze blowing across the lake in the soft light of the evening upon the mighty lake provided an understated sense of tranquility.

The swimmers attended an introduction dinner with the event sponsors and their host families alongside lac Memphremagog in Magog, Quebec, Canada. Each of the swimmers were introduced to the crowds in a dinner by the lake.

"What you will do for us is amazing. You are an inspiration to our youth. What you will do is impressive to us. We will do a television show, showcasing your lifestyle, and how you live your lives," explained co-producer Daniel Poirier of Endurance Aventure who is co-producing a 26-minute television show about the swimmers of the Traversée Internationale du lac Memphrémagog this year. "Our goal is to see you at the finish with a great big smile. Even if you finish at midnight, we will be there at midnight with a spotlight to film you."

Poirier deeply researched the swim and found some real gems in the annals of open water swimming. "We did an intense search for [78-year-old] Billy O'Conner [the first person who crossed the lac Memphremagog]. We finally found him living 14 hours away in New Brunswick. We asked him many questions. The athletes in the show are facing something. They might fear something, but they overcome it. This is the theme of our show."

Poirer asked each swimmer several questions. "How do you feel before a race? What do you fear before the race? When you are in the middle of the race and you are experiencing a dark zone, how do you overcome this? Why are you doing this? I want them to explain to me about the last 500 meters. We know that the last 2 km it feels like hell, but the last 500 meters normally feels good when the swim is almost done. We want to explore the feeling that the swimmers experience about the media and the spectators because for many hours, they have been pretty lonely in the water.

These are the questions that we build the show around. This is our focus this year at the Traversée Internationale du lac Memphrémagog."

Photo shows Xavier Desharnais at the festivities.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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