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2014 WOWSA AWARDS

Friday, February 21, 2014

Winter Olympics Is…Daring, Entertaining, Athletic

When we watch the different sports at the Winter Olympics, we see athletes who are daring and dedicated, athletic and artistic, entertaining and exciting.

They are a delight to watch as these Winter Olympians inspire and surprise us with their athleticism and hard work.

We could not imagine ourselves ski jumping or snowboard crossing or ski sloping or halfpipe skiing or luging or doing a a triple loop, a double axel, aerials, Bloody Dracula or Japan Air snowboard tricks.

It is unimaginable, but totally entertaining to see other humans perform such athleticism that requires years of practice and commitment.

Similarly, when we watch the athletes of the winter swimming community enter frigidly cold water temperatures and swim fast and far, we see athletes who are daring and dedicated, athletic and aquatically artistic, entertaining and exciting.

We could not imagine ourselves stripping down to our swimsuit briefs, putting on our goggles and racing in water under 5ºC. It is unimaginable, but totally entertaining to see other humans perform such athleticism that requires years of practice and commitment.

They are a delight to watch as these winter swimmers inspire and surprise us with their athleticism and hard work.

It would be so wonderful in our opinion if winter swimming were added to future Winter Olympics.

In recent years, the International Olympic Committee has tried to broaden the appeal of the Winter Olympics by adding several new extreme sports to its program like ski slopestyle and halfpipe skiing. Like bobsledding, downhill skiing, aerials, luging, these sports involve danger and risk and are not anytime soon going to be adopted by a vast majority of winter sports enthusiasts. These sports are the exclusive realm of elite athletes with incredible physical skills and a mindset of daredevilism.

The IOC readily acknowledges the dangers and risks inherent in winter sports, but the Winter Olympics is wonderfully popular entertainment and competition where athletes continue to push themselves to previously unimaginable levels.

We believe that winter swimming can be an integral part of these quadrennial Winter Olympics. It is such a coherent fit.

But we understand why many in the ice swimming and winter swimming communities do not believe that winter swimming belongs in the Winter Olympics. These individuals believe that the current winter swimmers are doing perfectly well within their own community without the pressures or commercialism of the Olympics. For these individuals, winter swimming should forever remain separate from the Winter Olympics where enjoyable local competitions are annually held in South Africa, England, Finland, China and Russia among amateurs of all ages and abilities.

We believe those local competitions should and will continue to grow and prosper during this and all future generations.

But we also believe that the crème de la crème of the winter swimming world - incredible athletes like Ireland's Pádraig Mallon and Russia's Elena Guseva - deserve to have the Winter Olympic spotlight on their incredible daring, talents and athleticism. To have individuals like Lynne Cox and Lewis Pugh serve as commentators as Colin Hill and Henri Kaarma race for gold while Ram Barkai and Nuala Moore serve as play-by-play announcers and explain all about safety protocols would be so cool.

Other articles on this subject include the following:

* If Ice Swimming Were In The Winter Olympics, What Are The Rules?
* Should Ice Swimming Be In The Olympics? Yes!
* Ice Swimming At The Winter Olympics
* Colin's Conundrum If Ice Swims Were In The Olympics
* Polar Olympics In Murmansk
* Open Water Swimming's Presence At The 2014 Winter Olympics

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

1 comment:

  1. I agree that winter swimming should be an olimpic event!

    ReplyDelete

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