French, Americans Swim Commemorative Relay Over There!

French, Americans Swim Commemorative Relay Over There!

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

While American President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron have their political differences at the highest levels, at the local level six Americans and six French swimmers are coming together as one united group. The 12 swimmers are preparing to cross the English Channel in a joint relay swim to mark the 100th anniversary of the arrival of U.S. troops in France for World War I.

One hundred years ago, a generation of American and French soldiers met on the shore of France to work in common purpose,” said team captain John Kulewicz who was a member of the Overlord 70 relay that crossed the English Channel in 12 hours 8 minutes on June 8th 2014 to commemorate D-Day (June 6th 1944 when the Allied troops landed in Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II).

Their English Channel crossing will commemorate the landing of the first U.S. infantry troops at St. Nazaire, France, on June 26th 1917. “We will swim with the common purpose of recognizing their bravery and teamwork and honoring the long relationship and promising future of our two nations.”

The swim will take place on the first good weather day between June 22th – 29th 2017. Following the rules of the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation, the group will form two 6-person relays named Over There!, in honor of the popular song written in 1917 shortly after U.S. entry in the war.

The swimmers have been training in various locations across Europe and the United States. Our Over There! team, who will escorted by pilots Michael Oram and Lance Oram on the vessels Gallivant and Sea Satin, includes the following swimmers:”

David Arnold, American physician in neuromuscular medicine from Columbus, Ohio
William Bonnet, a French sports coach from Nimes
Nicolas Costa, a French consultant and web designer from Aimargues
James Curphey, an American lawyer from Columbus, Ohio
Nicolas Derrien, a French firefighter from Ledat
Alexandre Fleury, a French entrepreneur from Perols
Philippe Fort, a French aquatic center director from Senlis
Eve Gaillard, a French marketing agency artistic director from Creil
John Kulewicz, an American lawyer from Columbus, Ohio
Richard Lovering, an American lawyer from Columbus, Ohio
Michelle Sanders, an American physical therapist working in Germany
John Stephan, an American lawyer from Columbus, Ohio

Information in French: Douze a traverser la Manche a la nage

Une equipe de six nageurs franqais et six nageurs americains se preparent a traverser la Manche de Douvres vers la France dans un relais de natation pour marquer le centenaire de I’arrivee des troupes americaines en France pour la Premiere Guerre mondiale.

“II y a cent ans, une generation de soldats franqais et americains se sont rencontres sur la cote franqaise pour travailler dans un hut commun”, a declare le capitaine de l’equipe, John Kulewicz, notant I’arrivee des premieres troupes d’infanterie americaines a Saint-Nazaire, le 26 juin 1917.

“Nous allons nager avec le but commun de saluer leur bravoure et leur travail d’equipe et honorer la longue entente et I’avenir prometteur de nos deux nations”.

La traversee aura lieu des que le temps le permettra entre les 22 et 29 juin 2017. Conformement aux regies de la « Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation », l’equipe se formera en deux groupes de six nageurs qui nageront une heure chacun dans le meme ordre de rotation, de Douvres a la cote franqaise. Les nageurs ne peuvent porter qu’un maillot de bain, un bonnet et des lunettes de natation.

Le nom de l’equipe est “Over There!” en I’hoimeur de la chanson populaire ecrite en 1917 apres I’entree americaine dans la guerre. Les nageurs se sont entrames dans divers endroits en Europe et aux Etats-Unis. Les membres de l’equipe comprennent:

David Arnold, un medecin neurologique americain de Columbus, Ohio
William Bonnet, un coach sportiffranqais de Nimes
Nicolas Costa, un consultant/foimateur fran9ais d’Aimargues
James Curphey, un avocat americain de Columbus, Ohio
Nicolas Derrien, un sapeur-pompier franqais de Ledat
Alexandre Fleury, un entrepreneur franqais de Perols
Philippe Fort, un directeur du centre aquatique franqais de Senlis
Eve Gaillard, une directrice franqaise artistique d’une agence de marketing de Creil
John Kulewicz, un avocat amdricain de Columbus, Ohio
Richard Lovering, un avocat americain de Columbus, Ohio
Michelle Sanders, une physiotherapeute americaine travaillant en Allemagne
John Stephan, un avocat americain de Columbus, Ohio

Les pilotes de la Manche, Michael Oram et Lance Oram, escorteront l’equipe sur les vaisseaux Gallivant et Sea Satin.

The photo above shows the Overlord 70 English Channel relay of 2014 that included John Kulewicz, Bryan Avery, John Boyd, Joe Hall, James Penrose, Edward Williams, and Don McNeil (alternate).

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Steven Munatones