Edith van Dijk has done it all: a mother, an Olympian, a six-time world champion, a pro marathon swimmer, a competitive pool swimmer and an English Channel swimmer with a doctorate in economics and a movie credit to boot.
She was honored as the World Open Water Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World Magazine and received the prestigious Dutch Female Sporter of the Year in 2005 (Jaap Eden Sports Awards) based on an impressive week of work at the 2005 World Swimming Championships in Montreal where she won the bronze in the 5K and a gold in the 10K and 25K races.
Edith’s coach also happens to be her husband and fellow English Channel swimmer, Hans van Goor. Note: Hans not only holds the Dutch record for the English Channel in 8 hours and 2 minutes, but also the family record as Edith swam the Channel in 9 hours and 8 minutes.
Her open water swimming career started at the famous Dutch lake Ijsselmeermarathon and has taken her to Austria, Hawaii, Australia, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Perth, Montreal, China and many other places in between.
In 2008, after finishing 14th in at the Olympics as a come-back 35-year-old with child, Edith placed 4th in the 5K, 4th in the 10K (only 3.1 seconds behind champion Larisa Ilchenko) and tied for 4th in the 25K at the European Open Water Swimming Championships. These results are as a testament to her versatility and passion for the sport. As she announced her retirement at the European championships, the sport will miss this woman of stature and remarkable abilities.
Information on the other 2008 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year nominees can be found here. Details on the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year nominees can be found here.
Copyright © 2008 by World Open Water Swimming Association