Able-Bodied In The Open Water

Able-Bodied In The Open Water

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Years ago, we debated with decision-makers in the sport that disabled athletes could compete in and enjoy open water swimming.

The risk is too high.”

They will panic in the water.”

They cannot navigate in the ocean.”

Their parents and caregivers will never give permission for them to swim in the open water.”

All kinds of excuses were given. But in Long Beach, California, the second Special Olympics World Summer Games will host an official 1.5 km open water swimming competition for the world’s most accomplished open water swimming Special Olympics athletes. But their abilities are often on display throughout the world including at the upcoming Murray Rose Malabar Magic Ocean Swim in Sydney, known as Australia’s friendliest open water swim.

Held on Malabar Beach on February 15th, the event is now in its seventh year, attracting close to 1000 swimmers. ‘The Magic’ was initiated by Rainbow Club Patron and Australian Olympian Murray Rose as a way to raise funds for the children’s charity and its important work across communities around the country.

The swim is the main annual fund-raising event for the Rainbow Club that provides swimming and recreational activities for children with disabilities. The Magic was the first ocean swim in New South Wales to include a Swimmer with a Disability award and category in both the 1 km and 2.4 km courses.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones