When modern-day filmmakers, directors and novelists create movies, television shows and stories, they often use a literary formula that Homer used in the Odyssey, his classic poem written back in 8th century BC.
The formula includes a goal, enemies, temptations, darkest hours of trials and tribulations, the magic of dramatically overcoming adversaries and climatic elements, and the ultimate feel-good outcome.
Homer wrote about cyclops, cannibals, evil gods, sirens, and phantoms that the hero Odysseus encountered en route to returning to his wife after 10 years of the Trojan War.
That same dramatic formula can be extended to open water swimmers whether they are swimming short events or marathon distances. But the formula works particularly well for channel swimmers.
Goal? The other side.
Enemies? Jellyfish, sharks, seasickness, waves.
Temptations? Getting out, getting warm.
The darkest hour? Swimming in turbulence at night.
Magic? Digging deep, getting a second wind.
Dramatic adversaries? Distance, tides, currents, cold.
Ultimate outcome? Walking onshore.
But the ultimate outcome, the feel-good aspect of these films is…walking onshore.
Photo shows Dan Projansky, walking onshore after one of his long butterfly swims. Projansky‘s 27-mile butterfly marathon swim was among the 15 selected nominees for the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year. All non-stop butterfly for 14 hours 30 minutes in the 43 km Extreme North Dakota Watersports Endurance Test (END-WET) in North Dakoto’s Red River.
His nomination for the World Open Water Swimming Association award reads, “It takes power. It takes guts. It takes strength from the shoulders to the abs. It is dramatic as the body is propelled out and forward in the water. Butterfly is the most unforgiving and difficult of all swimming techniques in the open water. But Dan Projansky is powerful, strong and dramatic. After doing butterfly 9-miler at Swim4Freedom, Projansky was interested to see how far he could possibly take his butterfly goals. With a year of mental, physical and logistical preparation, he set his goal to complete the Extreme North Dakota Watersports Endurance Test (END-WET) without once breaking his stroke. Extreme is an understatement as the 27-mile (43 km) race in North Dakota and Minnesota took the Chicagoan 14 hours 30 minutes. For his double-arm stamina, for his enthusiasm to push his boundaries at physiological and psychological levels, for his full marathon of butterfly, Dan Projansky’s END-WET butterfly swim is a worthy nominee for the 2012 WOWSA Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.”
The WOWSA nominations are meant to recognize and honor some of the best efforts and swims that the global open water swimming world has seen. Like Odysseus, they are all heroes.
1. Alina Warren (Scotland), Swimming Great Glen Way
2. Brenton Williams (South Africa), Deep Blue Flying
3. Dan Projansky (USA), Flying Down The Red River
4. Dutch Ladies First (Netherlands), English Channel Relay Record
5. Frank Flowers (Cayman Islands), Blossoming In The Cayman Islands
6. Haley Anderson (USA), Silver Lining At the Olympics
7. James Pittar (Australia), Shelley Beach Swim
8. Juan Ignacio Martínez Fernández-Villamil (Spain), The Heart of Navia
9. Lexie Kelly (USA), Open Water Swimming Archivist
10. Night Train Swimmers (USA/New Zealand), SF to SB Relay
11. Penny Palfrey (Australia), Marathon Adventurer
12. Philippe Croizon (France), Bering Strait Crossing
13. Saint Martin Island Long Distance Channel Swimming in Bangladesh
14. Stephen Redmond (Ireland), Tsugaru Channel Crossing
15. Trent Grimsey (Australia), English Channel Record
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
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|Voting is open! See the Complete List of WOWSA Nominees in all four categories.
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THE DRAMA OF THE SPORT
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