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Friday, March 21, 2014
Myra Thompson Swam Much More
In yesterday's Daily News of Open Water Swimming, it was reported (here) that Myra Elizabeth Thompson was the first person to attempt the 30-mile swim from the Farallon Islands to San Francisco.
But this report was incorrect and incomplete information.
During her pioneering swim, the 22-year-old did indeed come tantalizingly close to her goal, but she was pulled from the water after 18 hours within 2 miles of the California mainland in 1957.
However, this was her second attempt.
On September 25th 1956, Thompson had attempted a similar crossing together with 7 other competitors.
After 14 miles in that 1956 race, the then 21-year-old physical education major at San Francisco State College was declared the winner in the 26.5-mile Farallon Islands Swim from the Farallon Islands to San Francisco, though she stopped swimming after 14 miles.
Thompson battled an unrelenting current for 9 hours 21 minutes to prevail over an original field of 2 women and 6 men.
According to an article with the headline "Who's Tired? Not Me" in The Times on September 26th, Thompson's renowned coach and pilot Ray Taft of San Mateo, California said the San Francisco State college student could have gone further in the wavy, choppy waters. Taft said, "Considering the elements, there was no possibility in going any farther. What good would it have done if we went five or six miles more. It wouldn't have given her any more money."
Thompson later attempted to cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca and completed the 1959 Billy Butlin Cross Channel International Swim across the English Channel in 15 hours 35 minutes, only 10 minutes behind Greta Andersen.
Photo by Joe Rosenthal above shows Myra Thompson on right with her mother, Elizabeth Thompson on left.
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe 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 SwimmingAn 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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The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.