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Friday, April 18, 2014

The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Marathon swimmer. Race director. Promoter. Official. Administrator.

Vojislav Mijić of Serbia has done it all and will be inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honour Swimmer at the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference in Scotland on the Isle of Bute at the Mount Stuart House.

"I will be there together with my wife Jasmina and my coach Slobodan Lovčević and his wife Dragica. The International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame award has the best prestige and is a dream of everyone."

But the long-time race director of the Sabac Swim Marathon (Plivački maraton Jarak-Šabac) and the annual Epiphany Swimming for the Holy Cross of Honour has been dreaming, working and supporting thousands of others throughout his illustrious career.

Born in 1953 in Šabac, Mijić worked for three decades as a chemical engineer while always having a mindset always rooted in the open water swimming community.

Mijić learned how to swim in the River Sava where the Šabac Swim Marathon takes place. He won the Sabac Swim Marathon himself in 1978 and has done hundreds of open water swims in Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Argentina, U.S.A. (from Hawaii to New Jersey), Yugoslavia, Italy, Brazil, Czech Republic, Brazil, the Netherlands, Egypt, Syria and Greece.

As the founder and first president of the Committee for Marathon and Long Distance Swimming in the Republic of Serbia, Mijić participates in and occasionally promotes marathon swimming all over Europe. In his native tongue, his nickname can be translated into English as "the man who swims better than he walks." With three swims recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records, his nickname is appropriate.

He earned a bronze medal at the 1986 World Marathon Swimming Championships in the 33 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli race in Italy. "In Serbia, we now have 15 marathon swims per year. When I first started swimming marathons back in 1973, people told me that I was a very crazy man. But now, everything has changed. Marathon swimming is now in the Olympics. I am deeply satisfied in my heart."

Besides his nomination for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, he also received a Recognition as a Meritorious Sportsman in 2008 by the Government of the Republic of Serbia. His international open water swims have included the following competitions:

* Island Hvar Croatia (Faros Maratón) 16 km: 1977, 10th place, 5:38
* Island Hvar Croatia (Faros Maratón) 16 km: 1978, 10th place, 5:04
* Island Hvar Croatia (Faros Maratón) 16 km: 1979, 14th place, 4:44
* Island Hvar Croatia (Faros Maratón) 16 km: 1980, 12th, 4:29
* Sabac Swim Marathon 15 km: 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978 (gold medal), 1979 and 1980
* Sozopol, Bulgaria 15 km: 1980, gold medal, 3:45
* Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli World Championships 35 km: 1980, DNF
* Kanjiza Marathon, Yugoslavia, River Tisa 5 km: 1980, gold medal, 0:42
* Sabac Swim Marathon 18 km: 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 2002, 2003, 2004 (with several victories)
* Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli World Championships 35 km: 1986, bronze medal, 10:55
* Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli 35 km: 1987, 5th place, 10:05
* Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli 35 km: 1988, 8th place, 9:38
* Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli 35 km: 1989 and 1990
* Bratislava, Czech Republic 10 km: Lake Golden Sand, 1979, gold medal, 2:52
* Bratislava, Czech Republic 10 km: Lake Golden Sand, 1980, gold medal, 2:42
* Bratislava, Czech Republic 10 km: Lake Golden Sand, 1981, gold medal, 2:38
* Bratislava, Czech Republic 10 km: Lake Golden Sand, 1983, gold medal, 2:50
* Bratislava, Czech Republic 10 km: Lake Golden Sand, 1984, bronze medal, 2:53
* Poznan, Poland, Lake Kiekrz 1 km: 1983, 1984 and 1986
* Island Hvar (Faros Maratón) 16 km: 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1986
* Kanjiza Marathon, Yugoslavia, River Tisa 5 km: 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1990 (with several victories)
* Lake Lipno, Czech Republic 15 km: 1986, 3rd place, 3:38
* Lake Lipno, Czech Republic 15 km: 1988, 4th place, 4:40
* Lake Lipno, Czech Republic 15 km: 1989, 5th place, 4:23
* Coppa Lord Byron, Venezia, Italy 12 km: 1983, 6th place, 3:32
* Coppa Lord Byron, Venezia, Italy 12 km: 1984, 5th place, 3:35
* Forio D Ischia, Italy 20 km: 1989, 7th place, 5:42
* Toregaveta-Baia-Bacoli, Italy 18 km: 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988
* Around Capri, Italy 12 km: 9th place, 3:56
* Ana Capri, Italy 10 km: 1986, 8th place, 2:52
* Ana Capri, Italy 10 km: 1987, 7th place, 3:02
* Ischia, Italy 16 km: 1982, 5th place, 5:01
* Ischia, Italy 16 km: 1983, 6th place, 5:33
* Ischia, Italy 16 km: 1984, 8th place, 5:42
* Ischia, Italy 16 km: 1985, 12th place, 5:52
* Sluis, Holland 16 km: 1984, 10th place, 4:25
* Sluis, Holland 16 km: 1986, 7th place, 4:44
* Lecco-Dervio, Italy 30 km: 1989, Lake Como, gold medal, 9:15
* Palermo, Italy 10 km: 1986, silver medal, 2:15
* Palermo, Italy 10 km: 1987, 5th place, 2:22
* Palermo, Italy 10 km: 1999, 5th place, 2:26
* Alexandria, Egypt 20 km: 1984, 7th place, 6:26
* Ismailia, Egypt, Suez Canal 26 km: 1986, 8th place, 7:02
* Port Saed, Egypt, Suez Canal 25 km: 1986, 10th place, 6:07
* Nile River, Egypt 10 km: 1986, 10th place, 5:35
* Nile River, Egypt 20 km: 1987, 12th place, 6:05
* Toroneos Gulf, Greece 25 km: 1988, 7th place, 7:25
* Toroneos Gulf, Greece 25 km:, 1989, 7:30
* Ponza-Felice Circeo, Italy 30 km: 1989, 12th place, 9:23
* Galway Bay, Ireland 12 km: 1987, 5th place, 3:46
* Galway Bay, Ireland 12 km: 1988 7th place, 3:42
* Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy 10 km: 1988, gold medal, 2:15
* Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy 10 km: 1989, silver medal, 2:34
* Jablah-Latakia, Syria 2000 20 km: 15th place, 6:47
* Sozopol, Bulgaria 15 km: 1981, bronze medal, 4:02
* Sozopol, Bulgaria 15 km: 1982, 5th place, 4:22
* Around the Island, Atlantic City, U.S.A. 26 km: 1989, 15th place, 10:36
* Trasimeno Lake, Italy 20 km: 1987, 8th place, 5:42
* Trasimeno Lake, Italy 20 km: 1988, 10th place, 6:12
* Budapest, Hungary, 12-hour non-stop swim: 1987, 6th place
* Budapest, Hungary, 12-hour non-stop swim: 1988, 4th place
* Sabac Swim Marathon, Yugoslavia, 16 km: 1979, silver medal, 3:07
* Sabac Swim Marathon, Yugoslavia, 16 km: 1982, 4th place, 3:20
* Isola Di Procida, Italy 15 km: 1985, 7th place, 4:29
* Lago di Mergozzo, Italy 20 km:, 1990, 8th place, 5:37
* Lake Como, Italy 30 km: 1990, 7th place, 9:45
* Double Roughwater Swim, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A. 7 km: 1989, 5th place, 1:47
* Maslarevo Lake, Bulgaria 30 km: 1986, 3rd place, 7:25
* Lerici Coppa Byron 8 km: 1990, 8th place, 2:35
* Isola di Ustica, Italy 16 km: 1988, 7th place, 5:15
* Sluis, Holland 3 km: 1987, 8th place, 44:05
* Porto Alegre FINA World Cup, Tapes, Brazil 26 km: 1993, 12th place, 7:10
* Porto Alegre FINA World Cup, Tapes, Brazil 26 km: 1994
* Salvador Bahia, Brazil 12 km: 1991, 15th place, 4:27
* Salvador Bahai, Brazil, 12 km: 1993, 10th place
* Toroneos Gulf, Halkidiki, Greece 25 km: 1991, 5th place, 7:32
* Toroneos Gulf, Halkidiki, Greed 25 km: 1992, 10th place, 10:05
* Toroneos Gulf, Halkidiki, Greece 25 km: 1995, 3rd place, 7:20
* Nile River, Cairo, Egypt 20 km: 1994, 7th place, 7:22
* Nile River, Cairo, Egypt 20 km: 1998, 7th place, 7:17
* Double Roughwater Swim, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A., 7 km: 1991, silver medal, 2:07
* Double Roughwater Swim, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A., 7 km, 1993, silver medal, 2:01
* Double Roughwater Swim, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A. 7 km: 1994, bronze medal, 1:48
* Double Roughwater Swim, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A., 7 km: 1995, bronze medal, 2:03
* Hawaiian FINA Pre-world Open Water Swimming Championships, 3 km, 1999, silver medal age group category, 57:11
* Cefaly, Sicily Italy 10 km: 1998, 5th place, 3:15
* Cefaly, Sicily Italy 10 km: 1999, 7th place, 3:25
* Nile River, Cairo, Egypt 15 km: 1994, 8th place, 4:12
* Suez Canal, Ismailia, Egypt 25 km: 1993, 8th place, 7:21
* Suez Canal, Port Said, Egypt 26 km: 8th place, 8:32
* Giza Marathon Swim, Egypt 22 km: 1999, 9th place, 6:49
* Hernandarias-Parana, Argentina, FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix 88 km: 1992
* Hernandarias-Parana, Argentina, FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix 88 km: 1993, 8th place
* Swan River, Perth, Western Australia 4 km: 1995, silver medal, 1:03
* Mar de Plata, Argentina 22 km: 1996, 12th place
* Danube River, Around War Island, Beograd, Serbia 15 km: 1996, 7th place, 3:38
* Piombino, Italy: 1995, 8th place, 5:36
* Piombino, Italy: 1996
* Maratona Degli Etrushi 20 km: 10th place, 5:44
* Maratona Degli Etrushi 20 km: 1998, 8th place, 5:52
* Aci Castelo, Italy 10 km: 1998, bronze medal, 3:45
* Ohrid Lake, Macedonia 30 km: 1991, 10th place, 7:05
* Ohrid Lake, Macedonia 30 km: 1993, 8th place, 7:21
* Ohrid Lake, Macedonia 30 km: 1994, 12th place, 7:15
* Lerici, Italy 10 km: 5th place, 3:35
* Palermo, Traversata du Golfo, Italy 10 km: 1998, 6th place, 3:21
* Palermo, Traversata du Golfo, Italy 10 km: 1999, 8th place, 2:25
* Around the Island, Atlantic City, U.S.A., 36 km: 1989, 15th place, 10:45
* Piombino, Italy 5 km: 1998, 5th place, 2:16
* Kailua Bay, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A., 5 km: 1997, silver medal, 1:24
* Bacoli, Italy 16 km: 1987, 10th place, 4:55
* River Tisa, Kanjiza, Serbia 5 km: 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 (several victories)
* Herceg Novi, Adriatic Sea, Montenegro 10 km: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000
* Sluis, Vlanderen Marathon, Holland 16 km: 8th place, 4:35
* Lecco-Dervio, Lake Como, Italy 30 km: 1991, 8th place, 9:25
* Lerici-Porto Venere, Italy 8 km: 1998, 6th place, 2:21
* Sremska Mitrovica, River Sava, Serbia 5 km: 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 (several victories)
* Lake Palic, Subotica, Serbia 5 km:1993, 1994, 19995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 (several victories)
* Lake Balaton, Hungary 10 km: 1994, 5th place, 2:45
* Lake Balaton, Hungary 10 km: 1995, 2:50
* Sutomore-Bar, Montenegro 5 km: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 (several victories)
* Belgrade Marathon, Ada Ciganlija 5 km: 1998, 1999 and 2000
* Kanjiza, River Tisa, Serbia 5 km: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 (several victories)
* Trieste, Riviera di Barcola, Italy 5 km: 2002, 2003 and 2004
* FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup, Alexandria, Egypt: 2003, 15th place, 3:35
* Trihonidas Lake, Greece 16 km:, 2003, 8th place, 4:47
* Trihonidas Lake, Greece 16K km: 2004, 7th place, 4:52
* Apatin Marathon, Danube River, Serbia 5 km: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 (several victories)
* Sremska Mitrovica, River Sava, Serbia 5 km: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 (several victories)
* Celeia, Lake Smartin, Slovenia 5 km: 7th place, 2:35
* Varna, Black Sea, Bulgaria 5 km: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 (several victories)
* Ada-Mol Marathon, Danube River, Serbia 5 km: 2010, 5th place, 0:35 * Novi Pazar Marathon, Lake Ribaric, 5K, 2008, 5th place, 2:25
* Sombor Marathon, Danube River Serbia 5 km: 2008, 3:05
* Sabac Swim, River Sava, Serbia, 5K, 2005, 5th place, 1:05
* Lake Panonia, Serbia 5 km: 2008, 2009 and 2010
* Lake Krivaja, Serbia 5 km: 2008, 2009 and 2010
* Ovcar-Kablar Marathon, River Morava, Serbia 5 km: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010
* Becej Marathon, River Tisa, Serbia 5 km: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010

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
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference
* The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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