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Saturday, November 1, 2014

2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman Of The Year Nominees

http://wowsa.org/vote

To vote, register here, courtesy of WOWSA.

The nominees for the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year are always an heroic and impressive group of individuals with exceptional exploits, histories and lifestyles.

The WOWSA Awards are not necessarily for the best athletes, but are meant to honor the women who:

* best embody the spirit of open water swimming,
* possess the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and
* have most positively influenced the world of open water swimming in calendar year 2014.

The inspirational group of 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year nominees include:

1. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil), FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup Champion
2. Bhakti Sharma (India), Marathon Swimmer & Educational Reformist
3. Carina Bruwer (South Africa), Freestyling Flautist
4. Chloë McCardel (Australia), Marathon Swimmer & Coach
5. Colleen Mallon (Ireland), Channel Swimmer & Volunteer
6. Elaine Howley (USA), Communicator, Organizer, Swimmer
7. Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand), Oceans Seven Swimmer
8. Nataliya Fatyanova, M.D. (Russia), Ice Swimming Researcher & Physician
9. Pilar Geijo (Argentina), FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Co-Champion
10. Sharon van Rouwendaal (Netherlands), 2-time European Champion
11. Sylvia Rybárová (Czech Republic), FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Co-Champion
12. Susan Simmons (Canada), Marathon Swimmer with Multiple Sclerosis

1. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil), FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup Champion
Ana Marcela Cunha was consistently competitive throughout the year in all corners of the world. She is tenaciously tough in myriad conditions, warm and cold, rough and calm, fresh and salt. She is always spectacularly speedy down the finish against the world's fastest swimmers. The world champion competes with a broad smile on her face and a deep appreciation in her heart. With a deep-seated pride to represent her native Brazil well, she joyfully does local and won her third FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup series title by swimming 8 pro marathons around the world from January to October. She garnered 5 victories in a row from Portugal to China and always finished on the podium. Air miles, jet lag, time zone differences: none played a role in slowing the Olympian down. For her boundless joy in traveling around the world to race all-comers, for her repeated victories against the world's best, for her constant smile before and after races, Ana Marcela Cunha is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

2. Bhakti Sharma (India), Marathon Swimmer & Educational Reformist
Bhakti Sharma of India is one of those hard-to-believe young individuals who inspire people of all ages and from all backgrounds. Despite her training grounds in the desert state of Rajasthan, the young woman has a comprehensive track record of success including ice swims in the Arctic Ocean, marathon swims from Florida to India, and a solo swim and relay crossing of the English Channel. But she wanted her aquatic exploits to make a difference in other people’s lives besides her own. Her Swim to Educate initiative in India will continue to establish her legacy of inspiring and helping girls receive or extend their schooling opportunities. For her passionate calling to champion girls' education in India, for her creative platform that serves as a catalyst for school reform, for her eloquent passionate, public appeals and speeches on these topics, all described within her prowess and experiences as a versatile open water swimmer, Bhakti Sharma is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

3. Carina Bruwer (South Africa), Freestyling Flautist
Carina Bruwer has already made a name for herself in two distinct fields: open water swimming and music. While she continues to be celebrated in both areas for unprecedented cold, rough water swims and her unique, award-winning music with her instrumental pop group Sterling EQ, she is rapidly and widely sharing her passion for and with others via charity swims around the world. Bruwer not only attempts and succeeds at solo charity swims from her native waters of South Africa to Italy, but she also organizes and recruits others to help raise awareness and funds for children with cancer through group swims and open water swimming competitions. For her caring and sharing for those in difficult situations, for her inspirational swims and sounds, for her multi-talented passion that speaks volumes in any language or venue, Carina Bruwer is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

4. Chloë McCardel (Australia), Marathon Swimmer & Coach
Chloë McCardel is as tough a swimmer as she is dedicated as a coach of English Channel relays and solos and fundraising for charity. Her courageous record-breaking swim in tropical waters demonstrated a pain threshold second to none. McCardel swam from Eleuratha to Nassau in the Bahamas, a distance of 126 km that was the longest, Marathon Swimmers Federation-approved solo swim in history. Her 42 hour 30 minute unassisted marathon made her quick 9 hour 14 minute traverse across the English Channel look like a warm-up. For her inspirational leadership from her coaching the next generation of Australian and international solo and relay marathon swimmers, for her time volunteering to coach two 2014 English Channel Relays who raised $125,000 for the US Cancer Charity Swim Across America (Four Buoys and a Girl and Aquatic Water Buffalo), Chloë McCardel is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

5. Colleen Mallon (Ireland), Channel Swimmer & Volunteer
Between her coaching competing from Australia to Ireland, Colleen Mallon experienced another busy year as is the norm with those with the Mallon DNA. The fast-stroking (80 spm) endurance athlete was always steady, from motivating those athletes with whom she trains to her turbulent North Channel swim where she was swimming right on the edge with Force 5 winds and 3-meter waves. Never complaining, never questioning, Mallon is a greatly appreciated personality in the open water world, always rising to meet the challenges just as the rest of her illustrious family does. For her 9 hour 56 minute North Channel crossing, for her humble, calm personality that exudes confidence with a sense of adventure, for her competitiveness in ocean swims Down Under to Half Ironman triathlons, for her volunteer crewing in channels and the Camlough Lake Water Festival, for her motivational coaching of junior swimmers, Colleen Mallon is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

6. Elaine Howley (U.S.A.), Communicator, Organizer, Swimmer

Elaine Howley presents a uniquely skilled and much-appreciated package in the open water swimming world. She not only plans, attempts, governs and completes everything from ice swims to unprecedented marathon swims, but she also eloquently writes about them from a first-person perspective. Howley showcases her story-telling talents for numerous publications while sharing the inner thoughts and emotions of open water swimmers due to her own experiences. Her valuable skill set offered to organizations from the Marathon Swimmers Federation to U.S. Masters Swimming enable the terra firma world to better understand the open water community. Her own 54.7 km crossing of Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho was an example of how she brings the sport closer to the general public. For her ability to accurately describe the thoughts and perspectives of open water swimmers to a larger audience, for organizing and completing swims that stir up the imagination of swimmers and non-swimmers alike in her local community of Boston and beyond, for her unprecedented 20 hour 25 minute crossing of Lake Pend Oreille, Elaine Howley is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

7. Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand), Oceans Seven Swimmer
From a near amputation to this year’s completion of the Oceans Seven, few swimmers in history have come back from such depths to stand atop the marathon swimming world. Kimberley Chambers, a former ballerina whose leg was minutes from being amputated, took to swimming for rehabilitation – not for marathon swimming glory. But she needed to prove to herself and her doctors that she could recover from a terrible leg injury by completing 7 difficult channels around the world including a jellyfish-strewn North Channel crossing where she went into toxic shock. After years of struggle and sacrifice, the Kiwi living in San Francisco has transformed mindsets on what is truly possible in the open water. Personable, humble and profoundly eloquent, she is a role model in her rehabilitation and monumental swimming achievements. For her goal-setting mentality, for her laughter and motivational spirit, for her genuine willingness to share everything she has experienced along the way, Kimberley Chambers is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

8. Nataliya Fatyanova, M.D. (Russia), Ice Swimming Researcher & Physician
Dr. Nataliya Fatyanova is exploring the future of not only open water swimming, but also the physiological boundaries of athletic pursuits in a scientific manner. The most well-known and research-oriented physician focused on ice swimming and other cold-water pursuits, Dr. Fatyanova is on the leading edge of learning what the human body can endure and withstand. She is fine-tuning what parameters are necessary to allow athletes to enter winter swimming competitions and she has streamlined protocols on how best to enable responsible recovery and safe re-warming from hypothermic conditions. For her passionate and intellectual approach to keeping swimmers safe in ice swimming competitions, for her medical and scientific leadership in the winter swimming community, for sharing her findings and information with the global open water swimming world, Dr. Nataliya Fatyanova is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

9. Pilar Geijo (Argentina), FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Co-Champion
Pilar Geijo competed in and finished all 7 marathon races during 2014 to capture her third FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix championship (her first was in 2007), tying with Sylvia Rybárová. She completed the 57 km Maratón Acuática Internacional Santa Fe - Coronda, 88 km Maratón Hernandarias-Paraná, 15 km Maratón Cancún, 32 km Traversée Internationale du lac St-Jean, 34 km Traversée Internationale du lac Memphrémagog, 33 km Ohrid Lake Swim Marathon and 36 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli. Traveling on the pro circuit together with her husband Diego Tricárico, Geijo raced in different continents in rivers, lakes and seas battling the world's fastest marathon swimmers. For her athleticism, for her competitive spirit, for her calm, cool composure throughout 295 km of racing in both warm- and cold-water conditions, Pilar Geijo is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

10. Sharon van Rouwendaal (Netherlands), 2-time European Champion
Sharon van Rouwendall has the background and mindset of a champion. The world-class backstroker and distance freestyler has quickly transformed herself to be among the elite in the open water swimming world. With her gold medal in the 10 km marathon swim, a silver in the 5 km open water race, and another gold in the 5 km team pursuit with her Dutch teammates at the 32nd LEN European Championships, van Rouwendaal has clearly established herself among the highest echelon in the open water swimming world. With the tradition of success among her Dutch predecessors from Judith van Berkel-de Nijs to Maarten van der Weijden and Linsy Heister, she has demonstrated her talents mirror their championship ways. For her meteoric rise to the elite level, for her enthusiastic embrace of a new aquatic discipline, for her triple-medal performance at the European Championships, Sharon van Rouwendall is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

11. Sylvia Rybárová (Czech Republic), FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Co-Champion
Sylvia Rybárová is on the move. She finished all 7 marathon races to capture her first FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix championship, dramatically tying with 3-time champion Pilar Geijo. She only won one race, but she consistently placed high throughout the circuit at the 57 km Maratón Acuática Internacional Santa Fe - Coronda, 88 km Maratón Hernandarias-Paraná, 15 km Maratón Cancún, 32 km Traversée Internationale du lac St-Jean, 34 km Traversée Internationale du lac Memphrémagog, 33 km Ohrid Lake Swim Marathon and 36 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli. She has gradually risen to the occasion over the years, acclimating herself to the ravages of racing in rivers, lakes and seas battling the world's fastest marathon swimmers over the last few years. For her athletic improvement, for her genuinely sweet nature throughout 295 km of racing in both warm- and cold-water conditions on different continents, Sylvia Rybárová is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

12. Susan Simmons (Canada), Marathon Swimmer with Multiple Sclerosis
Susan Simmons could have viewed her serious medical condition with a fateful resignation. But instead she faced multiple sclerosis with head-on determination. The 49-year-old Simmons from Victoria, Canada began swimming to counter the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis. Slowly starting at first, she gradually developed a tenacious strength of spirit and stunning stamina that she soon developed to reach her untapped potential. She swam and swam further and further, a confidence-building and healthful way to combat her disease. Along the way to completing a 70 km 32-hour swim in Cowichan Lake with Alex Cape, she inspired many, gathered a community of supporters, and created a welcomed identify as one of the world’s toughest endurance athletes. For her development as a marathon swimmer, for her standing up to the ravages of multiple sclerosis, for her plans and preparations to swim 105 km non-stop, Susan Simmons is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming World of the Year.

http://wowsa.org/vote

To vote, register here, courtesy of WOWSA.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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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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2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac



An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

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