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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Are You Younger Or Older Than Open Water Swimmers?

Courtesy of Nathan Yau, Ph.D. of Flowing Data, California.

As you line up onshore or at the starting pen/line/area before an open water swimming race, what do you observe? Are you younger or older than most of the other participants?

Veterans can be loosely defined at those swimmers who have been competing or swimming in the open water for a long time or in various conditions and locations.

An open water veteran can be defined as someone who has trained and competed for years (e.g., 5, 7, or 10+ years) in the same or different venues (e.g., Waikiki Beach, Copacabana Beach, Cape Town, Dover).

Some veterans are fortunate and have the time and resources to travel around the world and test their mettle in lakes, rivers, oceans, seas, bays. They have see sharks, dolphins, turtles and been stung by jellyfish. They have felt either very cold and very warm after some of their swims.

Veterans may have started with swim briefs and transitioned to jammers (if a male) or from a swimsuit with a vanity skirt in front to techsuits with compression panels most recently.

Veterans most certainly started out with one type of goggles and are now using a different shape or model. Few goggle manufacturers keep making the same type of goggles for decades.

So are you a veteran or a newbie or a swimmer somewhere between these two definitions?

Dr. Nathan Yau is a statistician who makes data visually easy to understand for the non-professional. The data he used for the age comparison chart comes from the 2014 American Community Survey in 5-year estimates which Dr. Yau pulled from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series.

Check out his interactive site here.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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