Friday, September 5, 2008

Past and Future of Open Water Swimming

Sid Cassidy delivered an informative and entertaining overview of the past and future of open water swimming at the ASCA World Clinic yesterday in Las Vegas.

In front of an attentive audience of a few hundred coaches and administrators from around the world, Sid explained how the sport developed from Captain Matthew Webb's first crossing of the English Channel to the first FINA World Cup events in the 1980's to the Beijing Olympic 10K Marathon Swim.

He gave credit to several key individuals along the Olympic journey, including Chris Guesdon, Dale Petranech, Dennis Miller, Rick Walker, Denny Ryther, Penny Lee Dean and Dave Thomas as well as a number of a group of dedicated individuals from Australia to Switzerland.

Sid gave a nice overview of the men's and women's races at the Olympic 10K Marathon Swims and shown how wisely and strongly both Maarten van der Weijden and Larisa Ilchenko swam to become gold medalists.

Sid also challenged the coaches and administrators to continue their involvement and support of the sport. He explained the exciting new races on the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit, including a few new swims in the USA. One will be held in a rowing basin in Long Beach, California (see photo on left) in July 2009 and another will be held around the Statue of Liberty in New York City in September 2009.

For more information and details of this speech, go to Twitter under Olympic 10K Marathon Swim.


Ahelee said...

Sid challenged coaches to take a look at their distance swimmers and to encourage these swimmers to train for open water swimming events.
The USA should definitely be able to qualify 2 men and 2 women for the Olympic Open Water Events!!

Steven Munatones said...

It will be quite interesting to see how the 2012 London Olympics qualification standards develop. There are some very interesting proposals on the table now that expand the number of qualifiers (for the prelim 10K), but keeps the number of finalists at 25. More information will be forthcoming over the next 3 years.