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Thursday, May 14, 2015
Healthy Athletes, The Greatest Service Ever Offered
Without a doubt, the greatest service we have witnessed over the decades in the sport of open water swimming is Healthy Athletes or free health screenings for Special Olympics athletes at the quadrennial World Summer Games.
We first witnessed the sincere passion of the medical and dental volunteers, the significant amount of corporate and local support, and tremendous amount of medical equipment and supplies that are donated to help the Special Olympics athletes at the 2011 World Summer Games.
It is one thing to volunteer as a paddler or kayaker or onshore or on-the-water official at an open water swimming competition. It is something all together humbling to see so many health care providers doing so much good and sharing their compassion for participants at the competition. What we witnessed in Athens was truly a brilliant use of volunteers' skills and times.
When most people think of the Special Olympics, they think of sports competition, but the athletes who participate in those competitions often have physical and health issues that often go unaddressed in their home countries. There is a generally mistaken belief that people with intellectual disabilities and challenges receive the same or better health care than others. The fact is, in many cases, these individuals typically receive sub-standard care or, worse yet, virtually no health care at all. As a result of this disparity in health care, Special Olympics International conducts a program called Healthy Athletes that offer free health and dental screenings for Special Olympics athletes.
The program will continue around the world at different locations as well as in Los Angeles, California at the 2015 World Summer Games.
Healthy Athletes provides the screenings in a fun, welcoming environment that removes the anxiety and trepidation people with intellectual challenges often experience when faced with a visit to a doctor or dentist. The program not only serves these athletes, but it also trains health care professionals who then return to their practices with increased knowledge of and compassion for people with intellectual challenges.
Healthy Athletes currently offers health screenings in seven areas: Fit Feet (podiatry), FUNfitness (physical therapy), Health Promotion (better health and well-being), Healthy Hearing (audiology), MedFest (sports physical exam), Opening Eyes (vision) and Special Smiles (dentistry). As a part of the vision screening, athletes are provided with free eye glasses.
Photo courtesy of Edward Thompson of Special Olympics Barbados.
Copyright © 2015 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.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.
In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...
Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.