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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Michelle Macy, Humbly Heroic

The work of Michelle Macy is never done. Swimming since before she could walk, the Oregon resident became the third person in history to achieve the Oceans Seven. But significant and rare personal achievements are not solely what make up one of the most remarkable athletes in the open water swimming community.

Macy is talented without a doubt. She is focused like few others. She has power and strength.

What makes her stand out is her desire to help others, to be part of the global community. She is always giving a hand, lending an ear and sharing words of advice.

Her recent speech at the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association banquet was typically inspiring and humble. "The speech was less about my swims, but [more] about being a part of the open water swimming family," she described modestly.

Besides her Oceans Seven triumph that culminated with a record swim of the North Channel between Ireland and Scotland, she has assisted others on their own swims and completed her season with another record-breaking swim across the Anacapa Channel on October 26th and a charity swim in Portland's Willamette River. She clearly embodies the spirit of open water swimming and possesses the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for.

As a nominee for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, Macy has earned the respect of swimmers in cold waters (North Channel) and warm waters (Molokai Channel) and everything in-between. Her nomination reads, "Her love of the sport knows no limits, she serves as support crew as readily as she dives in the water for her own marathon swims. Michelle Macy was the first American and third person overall to achieve the Oceans Seven. The full-time Nike employee takes enough time out of her busy work schedule to become one of the most prolific and accomplished open water swimmers in contemporary times. Without sponsors and without hype, the friendly, thoughtful, seriously-minded swimmer moves about the globe to cross channels and help others in their own quests. For her world record time across the North Channel, for her achievement of the Oceans Seven, for her joyful willingness to crew for other swimmers around the world, Michelle Macy is a worthy nominee for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

Her fellow World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year nominees include:

1. Anna-Carin Nordin, The Oceans Seven First (Sweden)
2. Charlotte Brynn, Channel Swimmer and Aquatic Adventurist (New Zealand)
3. Diana Nyad, Xtreme Dreamer (U.S.A.)
4. Kimberley Chambers, Ballerina Soars in the Open Water (New Zealand)
5. Lorna Cochran, Near-nonagenarian Navigates Nirvana (South Africa)
6. Lynn Kubasek, Volunteer Extraordinaire In The Pacific (U.S.A.)
7. Martina Grimaldi, World Champion Racer (Italy)
8. Michelle Macy, Reaching the Summit of the Oceans Seven (U.S.A.)
9. Nadia Ben Bahtane, A Maternal Moroccan Miracle (Morocco)
10. Nuala Moore, Going to the Extremes (Ireland)
11. Olga Kozydub, Professional Marathon Swimming Champion (Russia)
12. Poliana Okimoto, 3-time World Championship Medalist (Brazil)
13. Sarah Thomas, Double Crosser (U.S.A.)
14. Sally Minty-Gravett, 5 Decades in the Making (Jersey)
15. Shelley Taylor-Smith, Serving with Distinction (Australia)

Online voting takes place here.

Photo of Michelle Macy in Oregon's Willamette River by KOIN 6 News.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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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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