In an unprecedented awards ceremony for open water swimmers at the World Swimming Championships, the men's 10K gold (Thomas Lurz), silver (Andrew Gemmell) and bronze (Fran Crippen) medalists received their medals at the main pool swimming complex.
Due to the open water swimming venues being located far away from the pool venue, open water swimmers have traditionally received their awards at a beach or rowing basin. However, due to a formal protest and appeal process, the men's 10K awards ceremony was moved to the main competition pool in Rome with all the protocols and ceremonies given the pool swimmers.
Morty Berger of NYC Pro Swim captured the ceremonies (see above and below) and reminded us of the symbolism of this awards ceremony. After being introduced at the Olympics and celebrated at the pool venue, open water swimming has finally arrived.
In another untraditional outcome, the American team had two medalists in the same event - the first time this has happened in an open water swimming event at the World Swimming Championships since the women's 25K race in 1991.
We salute Thomas, a 4-time world championship gold medalist, promising 18-year-old Andrew and the always tough Fran Crippen for representing the sport so well in front of our pool swimming friends.
American swimming fans will be able to see these men compete again on US soil at the Pagganck ProAm Mile and the NYC Pro Swim in New York City on September 5-6. The NYC Pro Swim is part of the 2009 FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit.
Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association