A Trailblazer in the Open Water: Sarah Thomas Wins WOWSA Awards Woman of the Year
Sarah Thomas, a 40-year-old ultra-marathon swimmer from the USA, has once again made her mark in the world of open water swimming! Not only winner of this year’s Performance of the Year Award but also the gold WOWSA Woman of the Year Winner. Her numerous accomplishments, unwavering determination, and passion for the sport make her a true ambassador for open water swimming.
Sarah Thomas’s list of accolades and accomplishments is extensive. She holds the current world record for the longest continuous swim done in current-neutral conditions, covering 104.6 miles over 67 hours and completed in Lake Champlain (USA) in 2017. Sarah was also the first person to complete a four-way crossing of the English Channel in 54 hours and 10 minutes and the first person in history to complete a two-way crossing of the North Channel, 21 hours and 46 minutes, in freezing water and amidst giant jellyfish. Other inaugural milestones achieved by Sarah include a Double Lake Tahoe- 42 miles in 2013, Double Lake Memphremagog- 50 miles in 2013 and Lake Powell- 80 miles in 2016.
Her bravery and determination were put to the test in 2017 when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer at the age of 35. Despite undergoing aggressive cancer treatments, she never lost sight of her dream of doing the impossible swim. One year after completing her treatments, she accomplished her goal of the four-way crossing of the English Channel, solidifying her place as a true inspiration in the open water swimming community.
Sarah Thomas’s acceptance speech for Woman of the Year:
Sarah’s contributions to the sport have not gone unnoticed. She has been named one of the World’s 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women in 2017, 2018, and 2019 by the World Open Water Swimming Association, and was selected as the Colorado Sportswomen of the Year. Sarah’s achievements have also earned her a place in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, Class of 2018 and the Vermont Open Water Swimming Hall of Fame, Class of 2017. In 2017, she was awarded the Solo Swim of the Year by the Marathon Swimmers Federation.
The WOWSA Awards, an annual recognition of excellence in open water swimming, celebrates individuals who embody the spirit of open water swimming and have made a positive impact on the community. Over 143 nominations were evaluated by the 97 members of the WOWSA Awards Voting Academy, and Sarah was selected for her outstanding achievements and impact on the world of open water swimming.
Join us in congratulating Sarah on this well-deserved recognition! Her achievements and dedication to the sport serve as an inspiration to all and solidify her place in the annals of open water swimming history.
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