Sarah Thomas – World Open Water Swimming Association

Sarah Thomas swam a historic 134 km four-way crossing of the English Channel in 54 hours 10 minutes in 2019, and has continued to inspire people of all ages through media interviews and podcasts.



After her 134 km four-way crossing of the English Channel in 54 hours 10 minutes in 2019, Sarah Thomas became globally well-known. Highly respected and admired, she is always poised and introspective an ongoing series of media interviews. Her inherently calm and humble demeanor that plays extremely well in the public eye.

Why it was nominated

For her swims across the Anacapa Channel and Lake Tahoe while sharing her story of overcoming cancer on podcasts, television shows, radio programs and media articles with an extraordinary depth of character and gratitude, and an eloquence in explaining channel swimming to the general public.


United States


Sarah Thomas

  • Melanie TYRRELL

    Melanie TYRRELL


    Sarah Thomas is so humble, down to earth and inspiring. She manages to achieve such incredible feats in spite of cancer and whilst working full-time. A swim hero to so many

  • Bob Needham

    Bob Needham


    A swimmer who dreamed what nobody did, attempted and succeeded swimming what nobody has. A personal inspiration that goes far beyond here swimming prowess.

  • Tanner T

    Tanner T


    What a phenomenal swimmer!

  • Susan T

    Susan T


    So humble, kind, authentic, inspirational, brave WOMAN! AMAZING swimmer, kind, sweet, loving person!

    • Kirsty Tweddle

      Kirsty Tweddle


      Such an inspiration. Her swimming of course, but I also really love the way she writes about her experiences.

  • LibbyS



    Wonderful person!

    • Brenda Forgione

      Brenda Forgione


      Sarah amazes me with her swimming accomplishments, but also because she is strong, determined, kind, and helpful. She also never gives up, even when faces with a serious illness. No matter how the voting works out, to me she will always be the Open Water Swimmer of the Year!

  • Bernard Stone

    Bernard Stone


    Incredible vision, depth and stamina, a real inspiratation a hero to continue C swim whilst feeling unwell!

  • Michael Rice

    Michael Rice


    Sarah represents what open water swimming is all about. Sarah has overcome the most ferocious of obstacles and completed swims that nobody thought were possible. She does this because she truly loves the sport. Sarah deserves this award because she embodies the spirit of open water swimming while remaining humble and inspiring others.

  • Dana Wiedenhoft

    Dana Wiedenhoft


    Sarah is truly inspirational! A role model for any female athletes and cancer survivors.

  • 01/09/2021

    Amazing woman!