Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Olympians Gather in Fiji for Open Water

Hundreds of swimmers from around the Pacific Rim, including 7 Olympians from 3 different countries, are gathering in Fiji for 18K Fiji Swim Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa to Beachcomber Island Relay today.

The Olympians have collectively won 8 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze medals and include Dana Vollmer and Allison Wagner. Wagner, the 1996 Olympic silver medalist and former world record holder in the 200 IM who just came back from a 7-year retirement, said in anticipation, "I just came off of the U.S. Olympic Trials where I did the 50 and 100 frees. This [18K relay] is a bit longer, but it should be fun."

The 18K relay will be followed up by the 2.7K Fiji Swim Beachcomber Island race and the 1K Treasure Island to Beachcomber Island Swim (race course picture shown above).

Besides Wagner and Vollmer, who was part of the world record and gold medal winning 4 x 200 meter relay at the 2004 Athens Olympics, Murray Rose and Shane Gould are also participating.

Australian Rose won 4 gold medals, 2 silver and 2 bronze at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and the 1960 Rome Olympics.

Shane Gould won 3 Olympic gold medals in world record time at the 1972 Munich Olympics, together with one silver and one bronze. Gould works with the Fiji Swims organizers and Milton Nelms on a special project to help improve water safety and awareness in Fiji.

Photo shows the beautiful crystal clear channel between Treasure Island and Beachcomber Island in Fiji.

Copyright © 2008 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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