Marcel Schouten Experiences Extreme Physicality

Marcel Schouten Experiences Extreme Physicality

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The dislocated shoulder that Marcel Schouten experienced in the USA Swimming National Open Water Championships reminds us of the physicality that is rampant in the sport.

The Dutch marathon swimmer must pulled back during the race so hard that he heard something pop in his shoulder and felt immediate pain. He stopped and pulled himself out because he knew his body was injured.

A chipped tooth of Christine Jennings, a broken rib of Micha Burden-Shaw, the torn cornea of Chad Ho, and the myriad lacerations and bruises experienced by open water swimmers in heated competitions remind us of the responsibilities of the officials in the sport.

Many of these encounters between athletes – both intentional and unintentional – occur around the turn buoys.

But it is at the turn buoys where open water swimming officials fail to give yellow cards or red cards. And the athletes and their coaches know it. Someway, somehow, it would be better if the athletes knew that there is a good possibility of the officials to call rule infractions around the buoys – instead of what the athletes assume currently: that the chances of rule infractions being called is nearly zero.

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