Bárbara Hernández Huerta Is 2020 World Open Water Swimming Woman Of The Year

Bárbara Hernández Huerta Is 2020 World Open Water Swimming Woman Of The Year

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA) officially announced its 2020 WOWSA Award winners. The WOWSA Awards are an annual selection of the most remarkable individuals, performances and offerings in the global open water swimming community as voted upon by swimmers and swimming fans around the world. 

59 nominees from 27 nations were chosen from the tens of thousands of heroes and heroines in the sport. “In a totally unexpected year of lockdowns, stay-at-home mandates, pool, beach and travel restrictions, and quarantines, the sport of open water swimming not only continued on, but the number of people venturing beyond the shoreline grew in great numbers. The growth was unprecedented and was probably only rivaled in the years between 2006 and 2010 that was caused by the inclusion of the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games,” explained Steven Munatones.

The nominees all embody the sense of adventure, tenacity, perseverance for which open water swimmers are known.  The 2020 WOWSA Awards winners were selected by a global online poll.”

A total of 71,628 votes were cast, resulting in Nejib Belhedi of Tunisia as the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, Bárbara Hernández Huerta of Chile as the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, Kamil Resa Alsaran of Turkey won the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year for completing the Original Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming, and Kosatka DV, led by Oleg Dokuchaev of Russia, was selected as the 2020 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

Bárbara Hernández Huerta has a Barraesque year as she completed the 20 Bridges Swim around Manhattan Island to achieve the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming, completed an unprecedented 7.5 km high-altitude swim across Chungará Lake in the Andes Mountains in 10°C water at 4,517m altitude, pioneered a 9.5 km course across the Beagle Channel in 1 hour 55 minutes in 7.8°C water, and won the 30-39 age group in the 2019-2020 International Winter Swimming Association World Cup

The Sirena de Hielo (Ice Mermaid) from Chile

Munatones said of Hernández, “Bárbara is known as the Sirena de Hielo (Ice Mermaid) in her native Chile where she specializes in glacier swimmingwinter swimming and high-altitude swimming. Undeniably, she has a special adventurous spirit and passionate love of extreme swimming. She has always been a remarkable swimmer, but in 2020, Bárbara really stepped up her game and extended the boundaries of her potential.”

The 59 nominees were chosen from the thousands of heroes and heroines in the sport and included:

Each of these nominees is very special. They represent so many others in the sport. We have old and young swimmers, coaches, pilots, ice swimmers, authors, filmmakers, and organizers who have all positively impacted the sport in their own creative ways during the COVID-19 year where the sport grew exponentially due to pool closures,” says Munatones.

WOWSA serves to educate, entertain, and enthuse those who venture beyond the shore. WOWSA is an international association dedicated to the organization, promotion, and recognition of open water swimmers.

For further information and photos of the winners, visit here

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Steven Munatones