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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Noe's Papa Engineers Remarkable Comeback From A Coma

Glen Christiansen nearly died this winter. The Swedish Olympian collapsed while walking down a flight of stairs and was given only a 30% chance to live by the doctors who treated him. At the very least, Christiansen was most probably going to be mentally incapacitated for the rest of his life.

But miracles happen.

And Christiansen was not about to give up. He thought of his son and used the same willpower that he had called upon to become an Olympian.

After waking up from his coma in the hospital, Christiansen told himself, "I will get well, but I must take it step-by-step with patience. This is a challenge for me."

He knew he was lucky. But he also knew that he needed to combine the opportunity to come back with significant effort.

"I survived due to my physical fitness and my willpower, fighting spirit - so the doctors say. As I woke up after the coma, my first thought went to my little son Noe. I knew that I MUST win this one."

Like many things in his remarkably optimistic life, Christiansen battled every day, every rehabilitation session. He utilized his doctor's pessimistic predictions as motivation. He wanted to prove the medical analysis wrong and make his life better. But he faced paralysis on his left side and an initial inability to speak. The powerfully built body that he had trained daily for over 50 years since his youth had taken the most traumatic hit in its life. After a lifetime of moving gracefully through the water, lifting weights, and running, he suddenly could not move his left side. After a post-Olympic career of coaching, lecturing, and laughing, he suddenly could not talk. Trapped into this weakened state where he split his skull from ear to ear, he fortunately still could think clearly. And pushed himself as much as he ever had before. He needed to get better, not only for himself, but also for his son Noe.

Gradually, Christiansen started to make believers of his own doctors. Every day he progressed bit by bit. He knew he faced the biggest challenge of his life, but he convinced himself, "I will get well, but I must take it step-by-step with patience. I have a long way to go, but I find the strength." And he did recover, finding strength and mobility where few gave him a chance. His doctor remarked, "Normally Glen would be hospitalized 6-8 months after injuries like this. We never seen anything like it".

Three months after his crippled body was taken by ambulance to the emergency room, Christiansen swam in the open water in Beirut. Christiansen was characteristically optimistic, "Being in Beirut, I met all these kids and adults who have been praying for me. They give me so much energy that I decided today to go out and swim with them in the ocean. It was a fantastic feeling and I am so happy. I need to recover and rest a lot these days. It will take time before I am as strong as before. But that is OK. After all, I am alive and swimming."

Last week, six months after his traumatic accident, Christiansen estimates he is 80% recovered. "I´m back racing. This weekend, I won an international open water race in the river Elbe outside of Hamburg: the Hamburger Freiwasserschwimmen 2.5 km in 35 minutes, out-swimming a group of 19-20 year old competitive swimmers. It was a great feeling. People were really excited and happy. Me too. It was my first race since the accident."

I swam under a club name I invented: Noe's Papa
."

From being down and out in winter with a paralyzed left side and not being able to move or speak properly, Christiansen is now back swimming well - strong and grateful to everyone.

Noe's Papa indeed.

Upper photo shows Glen Christiansen with his son Noe. Lower photo shows Christiansen with swimmers in Beirut.

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.

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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.

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The trends are very clear.
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