Many of the world's best open water swimmers are ready to compete in the NYC Pro Swim under sunny skies this evening off the shores of the Statue of Libery. Like boxers in a heavyweight title match, they know what lies ahead - currents, eddies, surges, a sprint to the finish and physical altercations where they do their best to keep their composure.
"There is a lot of pushing and shoving and nobody wants to give you an inch," said a competitor. "You are constantly being battered and whacked and most of it is deliberate, it just goes with the territory."
Photo by Javier Blazquez shows an American swimmer (in the white swim cap) surrounded by an Australian (white and green swim cap), Brazilian (green swim cap) and German (black swim cap) at the women's 5K world championship in 2008.