We are always touched by the camaraderie shown by open water swimmers.
In this photo by Dr. Jim Miller of the action at the feeding station during the women's 25 km world championship race, 10 km bronze medalist Fran Crippen is shown holding a feeding stick to provide hydration to teammate Eva Fabian.
Towards the right, head coach Catherine Vogt is seen getting prepared to drop the feeding stick to the water's edge for Emily Hanson.
Because open water swimmers know well what they all go through, during practice and during races, the bonds that they forge are deep, emotional and long-lasting.
FINA official Rick Walker tells us of the time he was on a feeding station at a previous world championship and a swimmer from Guyana swam by the feeding station without hydration. The next time the swimmer passed, Walker extended his feeding stick to the swimmer who smiled broadly, drank quickly and waved in appreciation. By the time, the swimmer had passed a third time, the swimmer had offers of hydration from most of the coaches on the feeding station. It was not about competition at that point, it was about the camaraderie of open water swimmers.
Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association