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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What If? Ashley Twichell

We asked professional marathon swimmer, world championship bronze medalist, and world team pursuit champion Ashley Twichell from North Carolina a series of "What if?" questions.

Here are her answers:

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What if you saw a shark underneath you at an ocean swim? What would you do?
Ashley Twichell: People are always asking me if I'm scared of sharks when I swim, or what I would do if I saw one. But truth be told, the thought rarely, if ever, crosses my mind, especially when I am in the middle of a race. There is always so much going on and so many things to be focused on and analyzing throughout a race, that sharks are not even a thought. That being said, if I were to actually see a shark during a race, I believe I would alert a nearby boat, race officials, etc.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What if you had a half body lead on Poliana Okimoto with 100 meters to go in the Olympic final at the 2016 Rio Olympics? What would you do?
Ashley Twichell: If I had half a body length lead on ANYONE in the Olympic final, I wouldn't do anything differently than what I always do at the end of every 10 km - race as hard as I can. Those last 100 meters your body, muscles, and brain are typically all screaming in pain - that feeling of intense burning is almost impossible to describe. Therefore, I just concentrate on taking it stroke by stroke, making each one as strong as I can.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What if someone elbowed you hard without the referee seeing? What would you do?
Ashley Twichell: Physical contact, both intentional and unintentional, occurs quite often without the referees seeing. Therefore, if the officials don't whistle it, it is important to not let it bother you too much - this will waste too much of your energy. However, if this elbowing was consistent, I would attempt to get the official's attention.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What if you were asked to swim across the English Channel? What would you do?
Ashley Twichell: I have contemplated the thought of swimming across the English Channel. It is certainly an impressive feat, and something I may consider doing after my competitive career is over. However, I think I would want to do it with a relay, and more for fun.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What if you were stung by a jellyfish in a race? What would you do?
Ashley Twichell: I have been stung in races before, and, honestly, it doesn't really faze you as much as you may think. With all of the adrenaline coursing through your body during a race, a sting is not at the forefront of your mind.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What if Keri-Anne Payne attempted a breakaway at the 5 km mark in the Olympic 10 km Marathon Swim? What would you do?
Ashley Twichell: When anyone attempts to make a breakaway during a race, it is important to try to counter it. If someone makes a successful breakaway, they have gained both a physical and a mental advantage.

Photo of Ashley Twichell at the Midmar Mile wearing #13,064 by Anthony Grote of Gameplan+Media.

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...

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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