Friday, March 13, 2009

Olympic Champions in the Open Water

From the days of Duke Kahanamoku (3 gold, 2 silver in 1912, 1920 and 1924) and Gertrude Ederle (1 gold, 2 bronze in 1924), Olympic medalists Shane Gould (3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze in 1972), Jim Montgomery (3 gold, 1 bronze in 1976), Aaron Peirsol (5 gold and 2 silver in 2000, 2004 and 2008), Brendan Hansen (2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze in 2004 and 2008), Sandy Neilson-Bell (3 gold in 1972), John Kinsella (1 gold, 1 silver in 1968 and 1972), Natalie Coughlin (3 gold, 4 silver, 4 bronze in 2004 and 2008), John Konrads (1 gold, 2 bronze in 1960), Debbie Meyers (3 gold in 1968), Murray Rose (4 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze in 1956 and 1960), Danyon Loader (2 gold, 1 silver in 1992 and 1996), Joanne Jackson (1 bronze in 2008), Oussama Mellouli (1 gold in 2008), Jazon Lezak (3 gold, 2 bronze in 2004 and 2008), David Davies (1 silver, 1 bronze in 2004 and 2008), Klete Keller (2 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze in 2000, 2004 and 2008), Chris Thompson, Brooke Bennett (3 gold in 1996 and 2000), and Chad Carvin (1 silver in 2000) have joined in the open water movement.

In the US, Sandy Neilson-Bell has developed a series of open water swims in Texas that continue to prosper for swimmers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. On the other side of the world, Shane Gould (shown on left) is also building an impressive open water event for all comers called A Devil of a Swim.

Shane's A Devil of a Swim offers 1K, 2K and 5K races in the beautifully clear 18°C waters of Bicheno Waubs Bay on the east coast of Tasmania. The event serves as a fund-raiser for the Tasmanian Devil facial tumor disease. The 5K race is around Diamond Island (see photo above).

For more photos of A Devil of a Swim, visit here.

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