Another OWSA Joins The Global Open Water Family

Another OWSA Joins The Global Open Water Family

Another OWSA joined the global open water swimming community with the inaugural Central Illinois Open Water Swim (CIOWS) held this week. The 1.2- and 2.4-mile races in Hudson’s Evergreen Lake are an excellent opportunity for swimmers in central and downstate Illinois, as well as for swimmers and triathletes in Indiana, Kentucky, and across the Mississippi.

CIOWS was the idea of the Illinois Masters Swimming Association‘s Open Water and Long Distance Committee chairman John Traynor.

John transferred his experience as a competitive marathon runner to the pool and then the open water. His goal is to capitalize on the interest in swimming generated by Michael Phelps, the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim and the increasing number of triathletes.

CIOWS joins Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association (NEKOWSA) joins Japan International Open Water Swimming Association) (JIOWSA), United States Open Water Swimming Association (USOWSA), Dubai Open Water Swimming Sports Association (DOWSSA), Vancouver Open Water Swimming Association (VOWSA), International Open Water Swimming Association (IOWSA), World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA) and Staged Open Water Swimming Association (SOWSA) on the global open water swimming circuit in an intriguing collection of acronyms with common goals and missions.

This commonality of purpose and common linguistic usage has helped the sport identify itself as veterans of the sport remember the days when the sport was simultaneously referred to as rough water swimming, long-distance swimming, marathon swimming, ultra-marathon swimming and cold water swimming.

These open water swimming associations have numerous advantages in the endurance sports world: (1) their venues are scenic and natural – oceans, lakes, bays, rivers. (2) The challenge and enjoyment of swimming from start to finish in an open body of water is tangible. (3) For some, the autonomy of swimming with hundreds or thousands of swimmers is often less stressful and more enjoyable than standing up on a starting block alone in a pool. (4) The sport embodies camaraderie, being both collegial and competitive at the same time.

Adam Winter, a DOWSSA founder, spoke for many, “We have some very exciting plans in the pipeline that will blow the minds of swimmers and sports fans alike. Our creation is truly an exciting development in the world of open water swimming sports.”

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