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Monday, September 14, 2015

Vedika Bolliger, Marathoner Extraordinaire

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The children at the Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten Sonnenberg Uster in Switzerland look at their teacher Vedika Bolliger as an educator and friend.

But the open water swimming community remembers Bollinger as someone with incredible stamina.

Over the course of her career, she made five successful crossings of the English Channel including swims of 14 hours 45 minutes in 1990, 16 hours 0 minutes in 1996, 16 hours 29 minutes in 2001, 23 hours 20 minutes in 21 August 2002, and 22 hours 27 minutes in 2003 in addition to doing the 26.4 km International Self-Transcendence Marathon Swim a total of 16 times as a member of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team.

She was awarded the Gertrude Ederle Award for most meritorious Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation swim by a woman in 2003 for her 22 hours 27 minute English Channel crossing.

Bur arguably, her most memorable swim was her 42 hour 45 minute crossing of Lake Geneva in 1999 from Villeneuve to the Jetée des Pâquis in Geneva before the water fountain. "The distance was believed to be 75 km at that time in an era without GPS," recalls Vasanti Niemz. "Even mobile communication they had to rent at that time. She got lost for over an hour in the early morning dawn because the little motorboat driven by her helpers Gunthita Corda, Pradeepta Bürgisser and Kanti Göddertz had to constantly maneuver back and forth. She was a slow swimmer and they lost sight of her in the morning mist and waves."

Copyright © 2015 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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