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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Following In The Wake Of Jason Dunford

Jason Dunford is a butterfly and freestyle sprinter from Stanford University and Nairobi, Kenya. While Stanford churns out world-class swimmers like it does engineers and entrepreneurs, Nairobi is much less renowned in developing swimmers.

But Dunford, who finaled at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, is dramatically changing that equation.

He has won gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, Universiade, All-Africa Games and African Championships, and reached finals at Olympic Games, FINA World Championships and Short Course World Championships. He has also held African, Universiade and Olympic records. Many of his achievements are unprecedented in the history of Kenyan swimming. He explains a bit about past, present and future of (open water) swimming in Kenya:

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Have you ever swum in beaches in Kenya?
Jason Dunford: Yes absolutely. My dad is one of Kenya’s first ever surfers, so brought me and my brothers up in the waves at a young age. This played a large part in me developing water confidence early and getting into competitive swimming.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What is it like (open water) swimming in Kenya?
Jason Dunford: The water is warm all year round, so no wetsuit is required. We have tropical reefs and sparkling, clear, blue water making open water swimming a thoroughly enjoyable experience. There are a a couple of races during the year and the Mombasa triathlon.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: About what percentage of the population swims in Kenya?
Jason Dunford: There are only about 3,000 officially registered competitive swimmers out of a population of 40 million, so it is still a very small sport. Along the coast, more and more people can be seen swimming in the ocean, but as you move inland a dearth of decent public swimming facilities holds back the development of the sport.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Are you interested in serving as a role model for Kenyans?
Jason Dunford: Yes it is very important to me to serve as a role model for Kenyans. From when I first swam for Kenya back in 2004, I constantly have people from all walks of life tell me how proud they are of my achievements and what I have done for the country. With this sort of recognition comes the responsibility of being a role model and luckily it is something I cherish and hope I can play my small part in inspiring people.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How do you act upon your status as a role model, practically, in Kenya?
Jason Dunford: Currently with my training commitments, I spend most of my year in the United States. However when I go back, I try to give swimming clinics or attend and participate in local swimming events. Most recently when I was back in Kenya in December, I took part in a charity swim-a-thon to raise money for the Nairobi Swimming Association and St. John’s Ambulance. Otherwise I constantly strive to set a good example in how I live through being humble, kind and thankful for the opportunities I have been given.

For more about Dunford, visit here.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

WOWSA is celebrating the
1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
by giving you a free copy of the anniversary issue.

Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
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Download the file to your computer, and then right-click to extract the magazine which is inside the zip folder. The magazine is in PDF format.

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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...

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.

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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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:

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


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World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

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