The Higher Education of Open Water Swimming

The Higher Education of Open Water Swimming

When we glance globally over the global community of open water swimmers, we are constantly reminded how well educated, intellectual and accomplished many open water swimmers are.

While university graduates are the norm, there are many others who have advanced or professional degrees. Former multiple-time world champion Edith van Dijk, a mother who can out of retirement to quality for the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, is one example.

With a Ph.D. in economics, the Dutch open water swimming superstar left her mark on the sport with movie appearances, an English Channel swim and 9 world championship medals in distances from 5K to 25K.

Simon Tobin of Canada (shown above) is another contemporary example. One of the world’s fastest professional marathon swimmers, the Ph.D. candidate currently studies, very appropriately, the brain.

D
r. Otto Thaning of South Africa is another shining star of the marathon world whose intellectual takes him far on terra firma.

The renowned heart surgeon, born in 1941, did a remarkably fast 10:29 crossing for the English Channel at the age of 53. At the age of 63, he completed a 4:00 crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar. At the age of 66, he swam from Robben Island to Blouberg on the South African mainland in 2:37 as only one of numerous swims in these cold, shark-filled waters. He also is the co-holder of the crossing of Lake Malawi in Mozambique in 10:05, a swim he did with Lewis Pugh.

While saving lives on land, Dr. Thaning also makes his mark in the water.


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