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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Kelly Gneiting, Sumo Swimmer Extraordinaire

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

In the open water swimming world, one can always expect the unexpected.

The same holds true for Kelly Gneiting of Rexburg, Idaho.

Gneiting, known as the Man of Fat Steel, is not your average athlete and certainly far removed from your average swimmer. The Idaho native is a tall, husky 430-pound (195 kg) sumo wrestler who is the five-time United States sumo wrestling champion. The former competitive wrestler has also completed 3 marathon runs and will also attempt a swim across the Anacapa Channel on July 8th under the auspices of the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association.

While sumo wrestlers are known for their athletic prowess and girth, their competitive world is focused on a dohyō (土俵), a ring of 4.55 meters in diameter, that is positioned in the center of modern-day, air-conditioned arenas. Sumo wrestlers are not known to venture out past their ritual-oriented world into the dynamic unknown of the open water.

This is where expect the unexpected will be embodied when Gneiting enters the Pacific Ocean to attempt the 12-mile channel crossing next week under the auspices of the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association.

Gneiting is also working with Pat Gallant-Charette and others to plan his next swim adventures in the Pacific Ocean, first the Catalina Channel and next the Tsugaru Channel.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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Open Water Swimming Magazine

Open Water Swimming Magazine

The 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.

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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.

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An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

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