Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Man Behind The Scenes At Ostia

Andrea Prayer was the ever-optimistic, always-present, hard-working, far-forward-thinking race organizer of the open water races at the 2009 World Swimming Championships under very trying circumstances.

Under difficult conditions and tight deadlines, Andrea and his staff created an Open Water Village, costing over US$700,000, on Ostia Beach in Italy. The Open Water Village had everything for the athletes, coaches, support staff and fans. Andrea also coordinated with the live television coverage with Rai TV.

Andrea and his staff hosted an extraordinarily well-organized and much-appreciated competition for 152 athletes from 42 countries together with his colleagues at FINA and the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee. Thank you, Andrea.

Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association


Anonymous said...

The parents of different swimmers had to stand after the fence,between a mass of italians and even behind. No place to sit and unpollite securitypeople. No photos could be taken from the podiumceremony.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'd agree w/ you on that one... difficult to see much of anything; poor planning in that respect... especially for families of swimmers. Not at all like last year in Seville. It was nice to see them pull the event off though... considering the conditions they were dealt.

Steven Munatones said...

Thank you very much for your comments. It is unfortunate that parents of swimmers were not given the opportunity to sit in the stands or to purchase tickets to the venue. Because the open water races were held in the only public beach along the Ostia coast, we can imagine there was a lack of seats for fans and families who would have liked to see the race closer and possibly pay for a good seat (like what is done in pool swimming). We know that many coaches and administrators viewed the race not from the paid seats or seashore, but from a very large screen TV that was located on the street near the venue. Because the race was covered by 7 cameras, watching for free from this TV was the best alternative to actually being on one of the officials' boats. However, we will inform your comments and wishes to decision-makers of future world championship events. With the next FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships in Lac St-Jean in Quebec, Canada, where thousands of fans annually watch the races under enjoyable situations, we are hopeful that your situation will be avoided next year. We know the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in London at Serpentine Lake will be easily viewed by hundreds of thousands of sporting fans.