DNOWS Header

Image Map

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Boring versus Bold for 2028 Los Angeles Olympics

Courtesy of WOWSA, Southern California.

It was great for the International Olympic Committee to include the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in the 2008 Beijing Olympics,” recalls Steven Munatones.

“The four-loop course ended up in triumphant fashion for leukemia survivor Maarten van der Weijden of the Netherlands and Russian superstar Larisa Ilchenko who both won gold with a fantastic sprint to the finish.

Fans were seated on long sides of the rectangular 2.5 km man-made rowing course and coaches walked along the banks in front of a worldwide audience.”

From Beijing, the IOC and FINA family moved towards the Serpentine at the 2012 London Olympics where Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia and Éva Risztov of Hungary executed flawless strategies to win gold in the six 1.6 km course where the banks were crowded with spectators.

From the confines of central London, the marathon swimmers found themselves racing well offshore in Copacabana Beach at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The women’s race was dominated by Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands while Dutch teammate Ferry Weertman pulled off a tremendous comeback and out-touched Spyridon Gianniotis of Greece in the first ocean swimming venue in Olympic history. The course was a geometric loop that ended where it started.

From Copacabana Beach, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be held in Odaiba Beach in a very warm, very flat, four-loop course where the only ripples will be caused by the swimmers and the only waves will be caused by the officials’ and media boats.

What I especially like about the possible venues for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics is to finally have a point-to-point course that can showcase the California shoreline, the Los Angeles basin, boat harbors on one side and Catalina Island and the wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean on the other side,” muses Munatones.

If FINA and the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee think outside the box and wish to showcase Los Angeles in an innovative and beautiful manner, they could set a point-to-point swim course.

It would start on Rancho Palos Verdes coast – allowing the athletes to start just below the Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles right above Terranea with beautiful cliffs on either side and then head either north or south and finish either in Redondo Beach or Santa Monica or near the Queen Mary in Long Beach.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of yachts, boats, stand-up paddlers, kayakers, and paddle boarders and kite boarders could follow the swimmers along the point-to-point course – of course, outside the safety zone established by the FINA race officials. The revelry and majesty of showing the pack of the world’s fastest open water swimmers sandwiched between the California course and a huge flotilla of cheering spectators on the Pacific Ocean would showcase the sport unlike the loop courses of Beijing, London, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.

I could think of no other course in Los Angeles that would present such marine beauty and environmental challenges like ocean swells, currents and turbulence and marine life for the marathon swimmers. A simple four-loop course set in a sedate, calm bay, harbor or rowing basin would seem to completely shortchange the possibilities.

Additionally, the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim courses in Tokyo, at the 2024 Paris Olympics and in Los Angeles in 2028 will be broadcast with drones and aerial footage. That is great.

But the clarity of the coastal Pacific Ocean water at this potential 2028 Los Angeles Olympics marathon swim course would also enable underwater footage. Imagine a television audience watching the athletes both from an aerial perspective as well as from an underwater perspective. imagine the swimmers being filmed from above and below where viewers can see the silhouettes of swimmers amid the dramatic kelp forests off the Palos Verdes coastline with sea lions that dart in and out of these areas.

It would be like an Olympic swimming race like no other

But is FINA and the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee capable of such vision and innovation?

I am hopeful that a beautiful point-to-point 10 km marathon swimming course along the Seine through Paris at the 2024 Olympics will help spur the creativity of FINA and the Los Angeles organizers,” said a wishful Munatones.

A beautiful coastline.

Clear, dramatic underwater perspectives from the Pacific Ocean.

Marine life swimming underneath the marathon swimmers.

A gigantic flotilla of boaters and paddlers cheering along the entire course.

A point-to-point race makes all the sense in the world for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games 10 km marathon swim course.

Copyright © 2008-2019 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