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Sunday, January 5, 2014

How Copacabana Beach Changes Things In The Olympics

The next Olympic 10km Marathon Swim at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games could showcase the world's finest distance freestylers in front of 500,000 spectators on Copacabana Beach.

The swimmers could include:

* Sun Yang, China's 400m and 1500m Olympic champion
* Ryan Cochrane, Canada's 1500m silver medalist
* Katie Ledecky, America's 800m Olympic champion

All three swimmers - and their competitors who compete in the 800m (women) and 1500m (men) in the Olympic finals - have the physical tools and mindset to earn an additional medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics marathon swim. They train hard; they train long; they have blazing speed and incredible stamina. They are so fiery competitive and have so much speed and stamina that it would be unfathomable for them to place outside the top 3.

Or is it?

It is.

Copacabana changes things. Massively.

While the first Olympic marathon swim in 2008 was in a flat rowing basin and the second Olympic marathon swim in 2012 was in the flat-water Serpentine, the 2016 Rio Olympics will be held in Copacabana Beach, a wide-open ocean venue with the potential for turbulence and large ocean swells. It can be windy and wavy. It can be turbulent with plenty of lateral currents. Under these conditions, it is probable that simple flat-out speed and stamina of fast distance freestylers is offset by the racing savvy and tactics of more experienced open water swimmers such as Ous Mellouli, Eva Risztov, Keri-Anne Payne, Martina Grimaldi, Thomas Lurz, Richard Weinberger, Alex Meyer, and Spyridon Gianniotis.

Add in the trend in elite open water swimming at FINA competitions to become even more physical with few red cards called and the 10K competition in Copacabana is entirely different than a one-person, one-lane pool race with flip turns each 50. The raw bumping, pulling and elbowing are reason alone for the fastest pool swimmers to stay in the confined spaces of 50m rather than also showcase their talents in the open water.

While it would be very interesting to see the pool's best distance pool freestylers go up against the world's fastest open water swimmers, it remains unlikely and, in fact, not in the cards. While Cochrane has dabbled in short open water swims (at the RCP Tiburon Mile in San Francisco), it is unlikely that the Chinese authorities will allow Sun to take a chance at swimming in the ocean or Ledecky becomes interested in open water.

But there is one Olympic distance freestyler who may make his mark on the Olympic open water scene in 2016: Andrew Gemmell. Gemmell has always shown great promise in open water swimming with his high navigational IQ. He has podiumed at international competitions, but with a laser-like focus on collegiate swimming and the 400m individual medley and 1500m freestyle in 50m pools, his motivations have been outside the open water. But the silver medalist in the 2009 FINA World Championships 10 km marathon swim and the gold medalist in the 2011 FINA World Championships 5 km Team Pursuit will soon complete his illustrious career at the University of Georgia in spring 2014. He has accomplished much in Georgia as a student and an athlete. He was chosen as a team captain; he serves as a student-athlete representative on the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. But after his graduation, he will start swimming more open water races. He will not give up his pool swimming career, but he should play a major role in international open water competitions from the summer 2014 and beyond.

Gemmell has the stamina, speed and acceptance of physicality that it takes to swim aggressively enough to garner a podium spot. While the elite women often hit and bump into each other throughout the entire race, the men swim against one another with greater degrees of separation and respect each other's swimming space. Because this physicality of the men is much less a factor than in women's races, the male version of the elite 10 km races are more suited to those with superior swimming speed. Hence, the opportunity for fast swimmers like Gemmell to shine.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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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.

WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
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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.

But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
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:
https://www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com/preview-open-water-swimming-almanac


The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.

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