Champions, Adventurers, Record Holders And Endurers

Champions, Adventurers, Record Holders And Endurers

Champions, Adventurers, Record Holders And Endurers

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California. Paul Asmuth had a mixture of talents as an open water swimmer. The International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer fit all four general types of great open water swimmers:

1. Champions
2. Adventurers
3. Record Holders
4. Endurers

Asmuth won championships, did unprecedented swims, completed the English Channel and attempted ultra-marathon swims. In his own unique way and everyone who fits one of these types has added to the annals of open water swimming history.

Champions are those swimmers who are fastest in head-to-head competitions against other great open water swimmers. Abdel Latif Abou-Heif of Egypt in the 1950s, American John Kinsella in the 1970s, Australian Shelley Taylor-Smith in the 1980s, American Chad Hundeby in the 1990s, and 2008 Olympic champion Maarten van der Weijden of the Netherlands are examples of these Champions.

Adventurers are those swimmers who have done unprecedented swims of historical proportions. Lynne Cox’s famous swim across the Bering Straits or Stewart Evans’ unprecedented swim from the Farallon Islands to the California mainland are just two examples of the exploits of these Adventurers.

Record Holders are those swimmers who break records of acknowledged distances. Penny Lee Dean of California and Trent Grimsey are two swimmers who set the bar by breaking the English Channel record. While there is always some luck in swimming in the right conditions (currents, wind, water temperature), there is no doubt that Record Holders – from short ocean races in Sydney to channel crossings in the Strait of Gibraltar are held in the highest esteem.

Endurers are similar to Adventurers and include those swimmers who chose to swim the longest and farthest in terms of absolute distance and/or time. Few embody the spirit of Endurers like the members of the 24-hour Club. What drives these individuals to push past all mental and physical barriers during these lengthy and difficult swims is the stuff of legends.

The Champions, The Adventurers, The Record Holders and The Endurers – both widely known and quietly humble are worthy of admiration in the world of open water swimming.

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