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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Guanabara Bay Is Not Copacabana Beach

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Stephen Wade of Associated Press wrote an article that was reported by ABC News...that continues to imply that the conditions in Rio de Janeiro for marathon swimmers and triathletes are dangerously dirty and unsafe for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Wade reports on the obviously polluted conditions of Guanabara Bay (Baía da Guanabara) and the broken promises of the organizing committee.

But Guanabara Bay is not Copacabana Beach where the Olympic 10K marathon swimmers and triathletes will compete.

We find it unfortunate that there are some people in the aquatics world who believe that media reports (e.g., see AP report here) imply or infer that the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim either will be cancelled or should be moved from Rio de Janeiro to other locations.

We have even read comments that the 2016 Rio Olympic Games 10 km marathon swim should or will be moved to London.

This information is based on inaccurate information.

The Olympic 10K Marathon Swim will be held in Copacabana Beach that sits on the east coast of Brazil on the Atlantic Ocean. Not only are there thousands of tourists and locals who frequent this beach daily, but it is also the location of numerous open water swimming, stand up paddling, and other marine sports competitions including the King and Queen of the Sea (Rei e Rainha do Mar) events and Travessia dos Fortes.

Fortunately for open water swimming athletes, their coaches, and fans, Copacabana Beach is not Guanabara Bay. The global media correctly reports that Guanabara Bay is heavily polluted. There are no open water swimming competitions held in this bay for good reasons. Frankly, it is unfortunate especially because the Organizing Committee of the 2007 Pan American Games had promised that Guanabara Bay would be clean by 2007. But little progress has been achieved even for the 2016 Olympic Games. It is true - and a problem - that the pollution is a major concern for the sailing and windsurf events at the 2016 Rio Olympics which will be held at Guanabara Bay.

Recently, some sailors from Austria and Germany have been there and reportedly said that they were hesitant to put their feet in the waters. Looking at Guanabara Bay, this is a reasonable concern.

But the Olympic 10 km marathon swim will not be held in Guanabara Bay. As can be expected in a beach bordering a major metropolitan area, Copacabana Beach is not pristine and there is plenty of urban runoff in the water, especially after a rain. But it still remains one of the world’s most iconic beaches and presents one of the world’s greatest natural amphitheaters for open water swimming competitions. With a twice daily inflow and outflow of water from the Atlantic Ocean, major events like the Rei e Rainha do Mar and Travessia dos Fortes are hugely successful.

So we agree partly with the global media and IOC reports about the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. There is much to worry about the sailing and windsurfing events in Guanabara Bay, but at the same time, we believe the the Olympic 10k Marathon Swim in Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro can become one of the greatest open water swimming competitions in history.

The INEA (Instituto estadual do ambiente) is the environmental institute of Rio de Janeiro. The INEA is responsible for monitoring the quality and cleanliness of the beaches in Rio de Janeiro where its report is on the beach conditions are publicly released (see here). Beaches tagged in green are the clean; beaches tagged in red are the dirty and it is not recomended that one enters in those waters. Copacabana Beach is green and ready to go. Conversely, Botafogo and Flamengo are dirty. Botafogo and Flamengo beaches are directly linked with Guanabara Bay.

Outside Magazine similarly published an article called Rio Olympics Probably Doomed.

The article by K. Annabelle Smith states, "John Coates, vice president of the International Olympic Committee, called Rio's preparations for the 2016 games "the worst" he's seen yet...At an Olympics forum in Sydney, Australia, Coates said construction hadn't begun in some venues in Rio de Janeiro and that infrastructure and water quality are behind schedule."

But what we have seen several times first-hand of the Olympic 10 km marathon swimming venue and organization on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, the open water swimming event at the 2016 Rio Olympics will be an overwhelmingly outstanding event despite the unknown dynamics of the Atlantic Ocean and the swirling waters of Copacabana Beach which can range from flat and tranquil to rough and wavy.

The organization of the open water swimming events and its local officials have been excellent in all kinds of conditions, from a humid rainy day to a stifling heat. The athletes are treated exceedingly well, the venue is open for hundreds of thousands to witness from the wide sands on Copacabana, and construction issues that may be problematic with other sports are definitely not an issue for the open water event.

Olympic hopefuls like Yasunari Hirai of Japan (left), Xavier Desharnais of Canada (middle) and Samuel de Bona of Brazil (right) have swum in Copacabana Beach and are looking forward to represent their countries at the 2016 Rio Olympics marathon swim.

As the excitement builds, fans are estimating that the number of spectators on Copacabana Beach may be north of 300,000 people and possibly as high as 500,000 cheering the Olympians.

Beside being a rough water ocean course, Copacabana Beach will certainly be dramatically different in many ways from the 2008 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in China (Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park), the 2012 venue in London (Serpentine), and the 2020 venue in Tokyo (Odaiba Marine Park).

Judging from the excitement seen on Copacabana Beach during the Olympic announcement, there may be a whole lotta smiling, dancing, cheering and laughing involved…especially if Brazilian swimmers stand on top of the podium.



For information on the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, visit here.

Upper photo by Getty Images shows Copacabana Beach where the 10 km marathon swim course will be held between the sandy shores and Forte de Copacabana.

For background information on the Olympic 10 km marathon swim, visit here.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

1 comment:

  1. 60% of Rio's sewage gets no treatment whatsoever. Although the Brazilian map shows Copacabana in green, that is by incredibly lax standards. The waters off Copacabana are by no means clean.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you very much for your interest in the world of open water swimming.

The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Agenda


Friday, 19 September

5:30

PM


Welcome Reception at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland

Documentary films shown throughout the reception:

Blue Journey-Amerika Samoa – Stronger Together: The Waterman’s Way
(film by Bruckner Chase)

Dancing With The Water, Crossing of Lake Pontchartrain
(film by Wayne Ewing about Matthew Moseley's Lake Pontchartrain crossing)

Bering Strait Swim Chukotka - Alaska
(film by Admiral Konstantin Sidenko about the relay between Russia and Alaska)

The Clean Swim – Hong Kong to Macau
(film about Simon Holiday's Pearl River Delta crossing)


Saturday, 20 September

9:00

AM


Registration and Coffee at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland

10:00

AM


Keynote Speech:
Colleen Blair (Scotland) on The History of Scottish Swimming

10:20

AM


Christopher Guesdon (Australia) on Multidimensional Roles In The Sport

10:30

AM


Colin Hill (England) on Recent Explosion in UK Open Water

10:50

AM


Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) on The Feminine Code of Achievement - How a Lady from Down Under Revolutionized Professional Marathon Swimming

11:10

AM


Simon Murie (England) on Open Water Swimming Holidays: How A New Sector Was Created Within The Travel Industry

11:30

AM


Swimming The Oceans Seven
A round table discussion moderated by:
Kevin Murphy (England), with Stephen Redmond (Ireland), Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden),
Darren Miller (USA), Adam Walker (England), Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand)

12:30

PM


Coffee and Break

1:00

PM


World Open Water Swimming Awards Luncheon:
with co-hosts Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) and Steven Munatones (USA)

Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year

Olga Kozydub (Russia), 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year

Bering Strait Swim, 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year

Honoring: Vladimir Chegorin, Maria Chizhova, Elena Guseva, Ram Barkai, Jack Bright, Oksana Veklich, Aleksandr Jakovlevs, Matías Ola, Henri Kaarma, Toomas Haggi, Nuala Moore, Anne Marie Ward, Toks Viviers, Melissa O’Reilly, Ryan Stramrood, Cristian Vergara, Craig Lenning, Rafal Ziobro, Andrew Chin, Jackie Cobell, James Pittar, Paolo Chiarino, Mariia Yrjö-Koskinen, Ivan Papulshenko, Zdenek Tlamicha, Zhou Hanming, Oleg Adamov, Andrei Agarkov, Alekseev Semen, Tatiana Alexandrova, Roman Belan, Elena Semenova, Alexander Brylin, Afanasii Diackovskii, Vladimir Nefatov, Evgenii Dokuchaev, Oleg Docuckaev, Roman Efimov, Dmitrii Filitovich, Olga Filitovich, Victor Godlevskiy, Olga Golubeva, Alexei Golubkin, Alexander Golubkin, Alexandr Iurkov, Oleg Ivanov, Pavel Kabakov, Eduard Khodakovskiy, Aleksandr Komarov, Aleksandr Kuliapin, Andrey Kuzmin, Irina Lamkina, Vladimir Litvinov, Andrey Mikhalev, Victor Moskvin, Nikolay Petshak, Sergey Popov, Vladimir Poshivailov, Grigorii Prokopchuk, Dmitrii Zalka, Natalia Seraya, Viacheslav Shaposhnikov, Olga Sokolova, Andrei Sychev, Alexei Tabakov, and Nataliia Usachaeva [represented by Admiral Konstantin Sidenko and Nuala Moore]


2:30

PM


Alexey Salmin Pavlovich (Russia) and Dmitry Dragozhilov (Russia)
on the 2016 Winter Swimming World Championships [film]

2:50

PM


Sally Minty-Gravett (Jersey) on Motivating Swimmers

3:10

PM


Dmitry Blokhin (Russia) and Aleksei Veller (Russia)
on the First World Ice Swimming Championships [film]

3:30

PM


Matthew Moseley (USA)’s Dancing With The Water, Crossing of Lake Pontchartrain [film]

3:50

PM


Simon Holliday (England) and Doug Woodring (Hong Kong)’s The Clean Swim – Hong Kong to Macau 2014 [film]

5:00

PM


International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)
and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF)

IMSHOF Induction Ceremonies and Dinner
with co-hosts Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) and Steven Munatones (USA).

Recognition of International Swimming Hall of Fame honorees:

  • Elizabeth Fry (USA), IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • James Anderson (USA), IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Dr. Jane Katz (USA), IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Indonesian Swimming Federation Open Water Committee (Indonesia), IMSHOF Honour Organisation

  • Melissa Cunningham (Australia), Irving Davids – Captain Roger Wheeler Award by the International Swimming Hall of Fame and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Sandra Bucha (USA), ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer

  • Jon Erikson (USA), ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer [represented by Sandra Bucha]

6:30

PM


International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) Introduction Video.
Welcome speech by host Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia)

6:45

PM


Dinner

7:30

PM


International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)
Induction Ceremonies and Dinner with host Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia)

Recognition of International Swimming Hall of Fame honorees:

  • Mercedes Gleitze (England)
    ISHOF Honor Pioneer Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by daughter Doloranda Pember]

  • Dale Petranech (USA)
    ISHOF Honor Contributer and IMSHOF Honour Administrator

  • Claudio Plit (Argentina)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by Shelley Taylor-Smith]

  • Judith van Berkel-de Nijs (Netherlands)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by Niek Kloots]

  • George Young (Canada)
    ISHOF Honor Pioneer Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer
    [represented by the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation]

  • David Yudovin (USA)
    ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer and IMSHOF Honour Swimmer


Sunday, 21 September

9:00

AM


Registration and coffee at Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland

10:00

AM


Nuala Moore (Ireland) on The Mindset of 1000m at 0ºC

10:20

AM


Admiral Konstantin Sidenko (Russia)’s Bering Strait Swim Chukotka - Alaska in 2013 [film]

10:40

AM


Ned Denison (Ireland) on Swimming The World

11:00

AM


Bruckner Chase (USA)’s Blue Journey-Amerika Samoa
Stronger Together: The Waterman’s Way
[film]

11:20

AM


Rok Kerin (Slovenia) on Lifestyle Benefits From Open Water Swimming

12:00

PM


Survey distribution and group photo-taking

2:00

PM


Swim at Stravvana Bay, Isle of Bute






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."


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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