Saturday, April 25, 2009

Open Water Swimming Heroes from Argentina

The International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame was established as an affiliated organization to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1963 to honor athletes, coaches, pilots and administrators in the global marathon swimming community.

The initial selection committee decided that a marathons swim must be at least 16K (10 miles) long. Later committees extended the minimum distance to 25K (15.5 miles).


Of all the countries in the world, few countries rival the proud open water swimming history of Argentina. There are 10 swimmers from Argentina who are among this elite group including:

1. Alfredo Camarero, Argentina
2. Diego Degano, Argentina
3. Silvia Beatríz Dalotto, Argentina
4. Pedro A Candiotti, Argentina
5. Antonio Abertondo, Argentina
6. Lilian Harrison, Argentina
7. Horacio Iglesias, Argentina
8. Carlos Larriera, Argentina
9. Gustavo Oriozabala, Argentina
10. Claudio Plit, Argentina

Alfredo Camarero, Argentina (1978)
Alfredo twice swam the English Channel. He won the Billy Butlin International Channel race from France to England in 11 hours and 43 minutes in 1959 and the 1960 race from France to England in 12 hours and 23 minutes. He also won the 36K (22.5-mile) Around the Island Swim in Atlantic City, USA in 12 hours and 17 minutes in 1957.

Alfredo is shown above after winning the 1959 English Channel race.

Diego Degano, Argentina (1995)
Diego was a professional marathon swimmer in the 1990’s. He won the 40K (25-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean race in 1991, was 2nd in the 1992 race in 9 hours and 47 minutes and was 5th in the 1993 race in 9 hours and 33 minutes.

Diego won the prestigious Olimpia de Oro (Golden Olimpia) in 1992 that is annually awarded to the most important sportsperson of the year in Argentina.


Silvia Beatríz Dalotto, Argentina (2005)
Silvia was the International Marathon Swimming Association world champion in 1990 after winning the Santa Fé- Coronda Marathon in Argentina, getting third in the Travesía Bahía de Todos los Santos in Brazil, the 32K (20-mile) Maratona del Golfo - Capri Napoli in Italy, the Lago Trasimeno Marathon in Italy and the Around the Island Marathon in Atlantic City, USA, and fifth in the 42K (26-mile) Traversée Internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in Canada. She was the third overall in the 1991 International Marathon Swimming Association, sixth in 1992, fifth in 1993, third in 1994, third in 1995 and second in 1996.

Upon completion of her marathon swimming career, Silvia received many awards and honors from the Argentine Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee and became a FINA Open Water Official, judging at the FINA Open Water World Championships in Barcelona and other FINA World Cup races.

Silvia is shown receiving her International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame honor with Kieren Perkins and Tom Dolan at the Hall of Fame ceremonies.

Pedro A Candiotti, Argentina (1965)
Pedro, known as the “Shark of Quilla Creek”, swam from 1922 to1946, primarily in Argentina rivers including a 390K (242-mile) swim between March 14 and 17, 1930 from Goya to Santa Fe in a total time of 66 hours and 15 minutes down the River Plate. He tried 17 times to swim 328K (204 miles) from Rosario to Buenos Aires in Argentina, but failed with his last attempt of 74 hours and 30 minutes. His longest swim was 84 hours in length when he swam 452K (281 miles) down the Parana River from Santa Fe to Zarate in Argentina.


Antonio Abertondo, Argentina (1964)
From 1942 to 1961, Antonio swam many marathon swims in Argentina. In 1946, he successfully crossed Rio de la Plata in 29+ hours. His five English Channel crossings were in the 1950 and 1951 Daily Mail races, the 1954 Butlin race and in 1961 when he became the first person to do a double-crossing of the English Channel in 43 hours and 10 minutes (with a four-minute onshore rest).


Lilian Harrison, Argentina (1973)
Lilian was the first person to swim 42K (26 miles) across the River Plate from Uruguay to Argentina in 1923 at the age of 20. In 1925, she won the 42K (26-mile) Seine River race that ended in Paris and attempted a valiant swim in the English Channel.






Horacio Bernardo Guillermo Iglesias, Argentina (1968)
Horacio, known as Dorado (for a great South American game fish), was the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation world champion in 1967, 1969, 1971 and 1972. He was runner-up in 1968 and 1970. He won the 24-hour La Tuque relay swim six times with three different partners, including Egypt’s Abou Heif and Holland’s Judith DeNys. He also won the 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean professional race in Canada in 8 hours and 55 minutes in 1967, in 9 hours and 31 minutes in 1968, in 9 hours and 32 minutes in 1969, in 8 hours and 39 minutes in 1971 with a second in 1970, and excelled in the warm-water professional swims in South America. He won 37K (23-mile) Descente ou remontée du Saguenay in 6 hours and 3 minutes in 1967 and was fifth in 9 hours and 22 minutes in 1968.

He was also honored by the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Open Water Swimmer and won the prestigious Olimpia de Oro (Golden Olimpia) in 1973 that is annually awarded to the most important sportsperson of the year in Argentina.

Horatio once famously told American sports magazine Sports Illustrated, "It is like a kind of drug, this swimming. It hurts, but you don't want to stop. Maybe it is pride. If the others stay, you stay." As he pointed to his head, he said, "You will find in every marathon swimmer something wrong up here."

Carlos Larriera, Argentina (1969)
Carlos won the professional 57K (36-mile) Santa Fe-Coronda river swim in Argentina in 8 hours in 1961 and in 11 hours and 38 minutes in 1962 and was fourth in 1963 and fifth in 1965. He was second in the 32K (20-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean professional race in 9 hours and 53 minutes in 1960.

Gustavo Oriozabala, Argentina (2001)
Gustavo finished second overall on the professional marathon swimming circuit in 1992 and third in 1995. His swims include 42K (26-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in Canada in 1991, 1992 and 1993, 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean in Canada in 1992, 1993 and 1994, the 36K (22.5-mile) Around the Island Swim in Atlantic City, USA in 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993, the professional 32K (20-mile) Maratona del Golfo - Capri Napoli in 1991, the 57K (36-mile) Santa Fe-Coronda river swim in Argentina in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994, the 42K (26-mile) Ponza-Cierco swim in Italy in 1990 and 1991, the 28K (17.3-mile) Furth-Nurenberg swim in Germany in 1994, the 41K (25.4-mile) Cruce Bahia de Todos swim in Brazil in 1991, the 35K (21.7-mile) Silvan Lake swim in Canada in 1993, the 88K (54.6-mile) Hernandaras-Parana river swim in Argentina in 1993 and 1994, the 25K (15.5-mile) Holland swim in 1995, crossed the English Channel in 1993, the 41K (25-mile) Rio de Plata swim from Urugary to Argentina in 1993 in 27C (F) water, the 180K (112-mile) Parana Crossing in Argentina in 20:07, and a 47K (29.2-mile) double-crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar in 14 hours and 14 minutes.

He was the first men to cross 20K (12.4 miles) in Lake Titicaca from Peru to Bolivia in 12°C (53.6°F) in 5 hours and 6 minutes 1997. He swam 2K in 3°C (37.4°F) for 21 minutes to become the first person to compete the Beagle Crossing from Argentina to Chile. He also completed a triple-crossing of the Beagle Crossing in 7°C (44.6°F) in 1 hour and 9 minutes in 1998.

Claudio Plit, Argentina (1981)
Claudio has won major professional marathon races for over 30 years and was first or second nine times between 1974 and 1984 while finishing first, second or third in 45 professional marathon swims between 1874 and 1984.

He has competed in the prestigious 34K (21-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean in Canada over 25 times. He won the 64K (39.7-mile) double-crossing of the Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean in Canada two times. He has won every major professional marathon race, some several times. A partial list of his victories include the 42K (26-mile) Traversée internationale du Lac Memphrémagog in Canada, the 36K (22.5-mile) Around the Island Marathon Swim in Atlantic City, USA, the 32K (20-mile) Maratona del Golfo - Capri Napoli, the 58K (36-mile) Santa Fe-Coronda race in Argentina, 29K (18-mile) Paspebiac swim in Canada, the 51.5K (32-mile) Lake Ontario swim in Canada, he 88K (54.6-mile) Hernandaras-Parana swim in Argentina, the 45K (28-mile) Saguenay River swim in Canada, the 24-hour Lac La Tuque relay in Canada, and the Suez Canal, Port Said and Nile River swims in Egypt.

He is the race director for the 38.6K (24-mile) Mar de Plata and Rosario Marathon Swims in Argentina, coaches and escorts swimmers participating on the professional circuit, and has participated as a guest presenter at FINA Open Water Swimming seminars.

Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association