Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Rich Get Richer

With an unmatched history of 55 years of great open water swimming, there is no professional marathon swim like the Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean in Quebec, Canada. Its history is rich in great races and tough swims. The prize money is the best in the world. And swimmers can deservedly establish their reputation in this challenging 32K race.

But the Canadian organizers are really stepping up their efforts in their preparations to host the 6th FINA Open Water Swimming Championships.

In order to help put on a world-class show in Roberval between July 15-23, 2010, The Heritage Canada Foundation provided $500,000 in funding to Swimming Canada and Traversée internationale du lac St-JeanTraversee internationale du lac St-Jean.

Pierre Lafontaine, Swimming Canada’s CEO and national coach said, "Canada is a leader and world power in organizing open water swimming competitions. Hosting the open water world swimming championships is fantastic for the Roberval region, helps develop our future competitors in the sport and adds to the already growing interest in the event with its inclusion at the Olympics in 2008. It is worth mentioning Minister Denis Lebel’s long term efforts which played a big role in helping our organizations land the hosting duties for the 2010 FINA Open Water World Championships in Roberval."

Benoît Amyot, head of the 2010 Roberval organizing committee, was also pleased, "This announcement gives us a boost of energy and is a show of support for all our volunteers who have been working hard for several months to organize these championships. More than 150 swimmers from 40 countries are expected for these world championships. The swimmers will all be accommodated at hotels in the Roberval sector. The Place de la Traversée will be the central hub of the competition and will be the location for numerous services including accreditations, interpreters, cafeteria, massages, showers, medical, rest rooms, press room, etc."

In an understatement known by all who have experienced the great Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean in the past, Benoît added, "The people in Roberval are passionate about open water swimming as shown by their support for the past 55 years for the Traversée internationale du Lac St-Jean. We are anxious to display this passion to our guests at the world championships."

Roberval follows in the footsteps of five previous open water world championships: Honolulu, USA (2000), Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt (2002), Dubai, United Arab Emirates (2004), Naples, Italy (2006) and Seville, Spain (2008).

The bar has been raised and we have no doubt that Roberval will not only meet expectations, but exceed all expectations when the world's best marathon swimmers come to Quebec in 2010.

Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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