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Friday, October 11, 2013

Kristy Kowal Swims Fast, Smiles Brightly

USA Olympic Swimming coach Jack Bauerle is renowned for getting his athletes to swim fast in practice. Olympic medalist and open water swimmer Kristy Kowal was one of those athletes.

Three weeks before her collegiate championships, Kowal was asked to do a breaststroke set of 4 x 200 @ 10:00. On the fourth 200, the personable educator broke the American record by six tenths of a second.

In workout.

But the psychologist in Bauerle didn’t jump up and down to celebrate the fastest breaststroke swim in America at that time. Instead he did the opposite. “I called out a fake time. The assistant coaches gave me a look – and I kind of shot them that warning look back. I told Kristy that she was real close, missing it by four tenths. I just wanted to make sure her edge stayed there for NCAAs. It was so hard to keep it inside because I knew in 3 weeks, greatness was coming.”

Kowal did not let her coach down, formally setting an official American record.

Her bright smile continues to sparkle at open water swims from the Caribbean Sea to throughout the USA.

Photo shows Kowal celebrating with Heather Petri after a Swim Across America event.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming

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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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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.

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