DNOWS Header

Image Map

Saturday, May 5, 2018

1 Year Ago - Pan-American Colibrí Swim Crosses Border

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

"Where are those swimmers going?" asked a spectator on the crowded Imperial Beach Pier just south of San Diego.

"Mexico," came the answer.

"Mexico?!? Is that legal? By swimming?"

Twelve swimmers, escorted by Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina, walked into the 16°C (61°F) water and a number of escort kayaks, to head south Playas de Tijuana in Mexico.

The Pan-American Colibrí Swim was on.

They swam as a group as they dramatically crossed the USA-Mexico border under the watchful eye of the U.S. Border Patrol and their Mexican counterparts, kayakers and an escort boat.

Unfurling a banner right on the border, the pod of a dozen swimmer raised awareness and money for the Colibrí Center for Human Rights that serves to alleviate the suffering of individuals whose family members have died while crossing the USA-Mexican border.

The American crew members on the kayaks and support boat captained by John Koett were not allowed to cross the border. But the swimmers were met with a flotilla on the border and five Mexican kayakers escorted them the rest of the way to Playas de Tijuana just south of the Mexican border. The team was met with hundreds of children and dignitaries upon their arrival in Mexico.

The 7.9 km swim was completed in 3 hours 3 minutes.

"To these swimmers, it was not physically as challenging, but rather stood out to them as a beacon of hope and unity. Coming from across the world the team were bound together by the humanitarian message of the swim," reported Madswimmer coordinator Nicolene Steynberg.

They wanted to express our deepest concern in a way we know best – swimming. Ignoring human suffering is something that those of us in privileged societies should not allow.”

The expected legacy of the swim is to enable the Colibrí Center to continue its work on a larger scale and to inspire swimmers from all walks of life to understand, appreciate and attempt to resolve political, cultural and social differences that may separate them from others.

"It was pretty cool to see the swimmers escorted by their American team and then stop momentarily at the border and then carry on, escorted by their Mexican team. The handoff was seamless and smooth," observed Steven Munatones. "The skies were overcast all morning and there was a bit of turbulence, but it was a smooth group swim the whole way."

For more information about the Pan-American Colibrí Swim, visit here.

Swimmers nearing the border with the USA on the left and Mexico on the right:

This week, the American media have also focused on this area and others who want to cross the border in the other direction. A caravan of 400 individuals from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have traveled from their homelands through Mexico and arrived in Tijuana, Mexico - exactly where the Pan-American Colibrí swimmers crossed the board.

After President Trump drew attention to the month-long journey of asylum seekers, their arrival at the U.S.-Mexico border has been an issue of political contention and significant media attention:

The Colibrí Swim members included swimmers Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand), Oded Rahav (Israel), Jean Craven (South Africa), Antonio Argüelles (Mexico), Nicolene Steynberg (South Africa), Rene Martínez Saenz (Mexico), Ben Enosh (Israel/USA), Ryan Nelson (USA), Melissa King (USA), Nora Toledano (Mexico), Neil Macaskill (South Africa), Luc Chetboun (Israel), Dan Simonelli (USA), and Mariel Hawley (Mexico) with escort kayakers Tom Hecker (USA), Kevin Eslinger (USA), Billy Carlson (USA), Matt Donoghue (USA), Haden Ware (USA), Anna Lopez and the Out of the Boat Team (Mexico), and Kala Sherman-Presser (USA) as well as Madswimmer organizers Nicolene Steynberg and Kamini Moodley (both of South Africa).

Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you very much for your interest in the world of open water swimming.

The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

WOWSA is celebrating the
1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
by giving you a free copy of the anniversary issue.

Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
File Size: 13MB


Download the file to your computer, and then right-click to extract the magazine which is inside the zip folder. The magazine is in PDF format.

CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.

Open Water Swimming Magazine

Open Water Swimming Magazine

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.

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 Swimming

An 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.


Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program