Deeds Of Distinction In The Open Water Swimming World

Deeds Of Distinction In The Open Water Swimming World

Greatness, however defined, is the quality of being great, distinguished, or eminent.

When I think of great open water swimmers, certain names immediately come to mind,” says Steven Munatones. “In history, there were people like Lord Byron, Captain Matthew Webb, Gertrude Ederle, Duke Kahanamoku, Alick Wickham, Robert Dowling, and Annette Kellerman. In the latter half of the 20th century, Abou-Heif, John Kinsella, Commander Gerald Forsberg, Lynne Cox, Penny Dean, Paul Asmuth and Shelley Taylor-Smith shined brightly.

In the contemporary world, the definition of a great open water swimmer seems to have expanded. In addition to setting a record or pioneering a new swim, there are things like writing a book and being the protagonist in a documentary film. Swimmers like Maarten van der Weijden have used their aquatic skill to raise vast sums of money or swimmers like Trent Grimsey and Chloë McCardel have established teams or swimmers like Lewis Pugh have written books and given riveting TED Talks.”

Well-established Deeds of Distinction
1. Set a world record
2. Write a book
3. Appear in a movie or star in a documentary
4. Invent technology, equipment or a process or hold a patent
5. Pioneer an event or swim
6. Establish a swim school, team or organization
7. Establish a new competitive event or charity swim
8. Become a namesake for an event or landmark
9. Be granted a title (MBE, OIG, AO)

Contemporary Deeds of Distinction
1. Host a podcast
2. Be a social media influencer
3. Give a TED Talk
4. Establish or promote a clothing or equipment brand
5. Win an Olympic medal or be an Olympic flag bearer
6. Raise significant money in charity swims
7. Lead lobbying efforts to create marine protection areas
8. Create an authoritative database
9. Document the history of the sport

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Steven Munatones