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Monday, March 31, 2014

Buster Crabbe Was Ahead Of His Time

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Buster Crabbe, a two-time Olympic medalist, movie star, and television actor was an individual and aquapreneur before his time.

Winter Swimming

Crabbe lived in a mountain lodge at Lake Arrowhead, a mountain resort about 80 miles east of Los Angeles. According to Phil Cooper, he swam throughout the year in Lake Arrowhead.

"Yes, he was swimming nearly everyday. It was freezing, especially in winter. But he would be there...there’s Buster swimming across the lake…,” he recalled about the actor who starred in a series of Western movies centering around a cowboy character called Billy the Kid.

Adult Swimming

Although he predated the advent of masters swimming, Crabbe remained in shape throughout his life, eventually setting a world swimming record in the 60-64 masters swimming age group in the 400m freestyle - the event that he won the gold medal in 1932.

With his heavy work schedule, Crabbe had to stay in shape, especially in 1942 when he starred in 8 movies as a 34-year-old. He starred in 7 more Billy the Kid Westerns in 1943 in addition to making training films for the U.S. military.

Crabbe recalls the goodversus evil theme of his over 45 movies in the 1940s in this genre. “The plots [of the Westerns] were simple ones. Basically, there were four standard formats: cattle rustlers, land grabbers, outlaws stealing money or gold, or outlaws terrorizing a community.”

In 1946, Crabbe's continuous swimming paid off when he co-starred with his former swimming great, Johnny Weissmuller, in the movie Swamp Fire. At 42, Weissmuller was no longer in great shape, but the two performed a climatic underwater fight-to-the-death scene as their competitive juices never wavered, even in the ice cold water. Crabbe's cold water training in Lake Arrowhead helped him greatly as the water was kept cold during filming in order to keep the alligators lethargic.



Aquapreneurism

He also produced, invested in, and starred in his own live aquatic shows called The Aqua Parade. The actors he recruited were former aquatic athletes from his athletic days. In 1947, The Aqua Parade conducted a five-month tour of the United States.

By 1948, The Aqua Parade featured 20 synchronized swimmers in addition to divers and swimmers performing in the 2-hour show that included a show called The Evolution of Swimming. With popular acclaim, the show expanded from Los Angeles to Boston and included shows in Montreal and Toronto, eventually even to France and Italy.

In a key financial decision, Crabbe invested in a large portable swimming pool that moved with the show including to sites throughout the United States, Canada, France, and Italy. This enabled him to perform where he wanted as opposed to being tied to a permanent pool.

Legacy

From Tarzan to Flash Gordon, from Billy the Kid to Wyatt Earp, Crabbe continued to play a number of roles in television and film while staying in shape swimming. Since his early days swimming in Waikiki Beach where he grew up as a child to his winter swimming in Lake Arrowhead later in his life, Crabbe was an aquatic icon.

Upper photo shows his lakefront home in Lake Arrowhead that he called the Key to Heaven that featured rooms with water views and meandering paths to the lake. Lower photo shows Buster Crabbe (second from left) with Duke Kahanamoku, Stubby Kruger, and Johnny Weissmuller in California.

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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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.

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