Conrad Wennerberg, who wrote one of the most definitive books on marathon swimming (Wind, Waves and Sunburn - A Brief History of Marathon Swimming), has a treasure trove of first-hand insights into the world of open water swimming. Here is one such interesting historical tidbit:
Olympic hero and movie star Johnny Weissmuller was selected by the World Professional Marathon Swimming Association to be its official spokesman. In this capacity, Weissmuller attended several of the professional marathon races.
On one occasion, he was asked to present the award and prize money to the winning marathon swimmer. As Weissmuller got up on the stage, he let loose with his famous Tarzan Yell (listen here), handed the swimmer his check and prize and then simply sat down without saying a single word.
It was simply iconic, over quickly and appropriately dramatic to highlight a classic awards ceremony.
Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association