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2016 WOWSA AWARDS
Vote in All Four CategoriesThe World Open Water Swimming Association is pleased to present the 2016 WOWSA Award Nominees.
The nominees are presented in the following four categories:
Monday, August 15, 2016
Brazil's Poliana Okimoto Takes Long Road To Bronze
The 33-year-old Poliana Okimoto was one of the oldest swimmers among the 50 finalists in the men's and women's Olympic 10K Marathon Swim on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.
Her road to her bronze medal swim was a very, very, very long one.
Okimoto originally did not like swimming in the open water. "I didn't like the cold or the seaweed or swimming in such rough water conditions or with everyone swimming around me and being physical. I really didn't like all these things in the beginning."
But she was good at swimming longer than 800 meters which was her speciality in the pool. She did a lot of local ocean swims in her native Brazil. Of course, 5 km races were even better and 10 km was the best.
Over the years, she won world championship races and FINA's 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup series. She was always competitive in international races except for a DNF that she experienced at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
She qualified for the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic 10K Marathon Swims - one of the very few athletes who were consistently on top of the sport of marathon swimming. But a medal was out of reach and, at the age of 33, time was not on her side. She kept on training hard, always remembering her ultimate goal of earning an Olympic medal.
She is married to her coach, Ricardo Cintra, and they had forged a long-term strategy to win a medal in Rio. "I want to start a family and do other things, but when Rio de Janeiro won the bid to be the 2016 Olympic host, I knew that I had to continue," she recalls.
During today's 10 km swim, Okimoto was in good position to medal throughout the race. She took out the first 5 km very easy and was in the middle of the lead pack, conserving energy. But when Sharon Van Rouwendaal opened up a lead with a fast surge after the 7 km mark, Okimoto knew that she had to give chase. This was her last and best chance to medal.
She fought closely with Rachele Bruni of Italy, Aurélie Muller of France, and Xin Xin of China. Only two of the four women in the trailing pack would win a medal. But fortune shined upon Okimoto on this day.
After Muller claimed silver and Bruni bronze, just ahead of Okimoto, her heart sank. Okimoto had given it everything she could. She had trained for this moment...and she lost.
But after a few confusing minutes and discussions among the referees, FINA's head referee John West declared Muller to be disqualified and Okimoto the bronze medalist.
Her long road to success was finally and ultimately reached.
Final race results of the women's Olympic 10K Marathon Swim are posted here.
Copyright © 2016 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.