Failure To Finish Is Not Failure

Failure To Finish Is Not Failure

Risk is a fundamental part of open water swimming. Uncertainty is also part of the equation as are the vagaries of the weather and water and marine life.

The only reasonable assumption in an open water swim is to Expect The Unexpected.

So in my opinion and observation, failure in the open water swimming world does not exist. Whether it is the English Channel, the Olympics or a solo swim somewhere in the world, swimmers occasionally do not or cannot finish what they start. But they do not fair; they simply do not finish. These are 2 different things.

Sometimes, not finishing is done in a private way in front of a few escort crew and friends. Other times, it is done in a very public way. For example, 8% of the Olympic female athletes competing in the 2012 London Olympic Games marathon swim did not finish. That 8% did not finish in front of 30,000 people and a worldwide TV audience.

But they can walk out of the open water with their head held high and their shoulders back. Smile for they prepared for and attempted a feat that was not easy.

And there is always another day to swim again. Something that Thomas Burgess was well-known for.

The 1900 Olympic pool swimmer from Great Britain and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer became the second man to swim the English Channel in 22 hours 35 minutes in 1911 on his 16th attempt.

15 times he did not finish, but he never failed.

No risk, no reward. No guts, no glory. No start, no success.


Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source