Open Water Swimmers Conferred with the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award
Srikaanth Viswanathan, a 49-year-old Indian open water swimmer from Bangalore who completed the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming in 2019, was recently awarded with India’s highest national adventure award, the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award.
The Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award was formerly known as National Adventure Awards, is the highest adventure sports honor of India and is named after Tenzing Norgay, a Nepali-Indian Sherpa mountaineer who was the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest with Edmund Hillary in 1953.
It is awarded annually by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and given to individuals for their outstanding achievement in the field of adventure activities on land, sea and air over the previous three years. The lifetime achievement is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated excellence in and devoted themselves in the promotion of adventure sports. The award is a bronze statuette of Tenzing Norgay and a cash prize of ₹5 lakh or about US$6,600.
Instituted in 1993–1994, the first awards were given for the year 1994 and are annually held at the Presidential Palace. Open water swimmers who have received the award include:
- 1995 C N Janaki, a disabled English Channel relay swimmer
- 1995 Chhavi Madan, a young channel swimmer
- 1996 Gunjan Parulkar, a channel swimmer
- 1996 Rupali Repale, a channel swimmer
- 2001 Barkha Kishore Kedia, a channel swimmer
- 2002 Bula Chowdhury, a channel swimmer
- 2003 Mayur Mehta, a channel swimmer
- 2009 Sufyan Sheikh, a channel swimmer (shown above)
- 2011 Bhakti Sharma, a channel and ice swimmer
- 2014 Paramvir Singh, a ultramarathon relay swimmer
- 2015 Ritu Kishor Kedia, a marathon swimmer
- 2016 More Rohan Dattatrey, an Oceans Seven and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame swimmer
- 2018 Prabhat Raju Koli, a Triple Crowner and channel swimmer
- 2019 Satendra Singh Lohiya, a disabled channel swimmer
- 2021 Srikaanth Viswanathan, a Triple Crowner (shown below)
As Viswanathan said after receiving his award, “I was very thrilled to receive this award and it is indeed a great honor to have received it from the Hon’ble President of India amidst the other sporting stars of the country. This award should motivate others to pursue their passion wholeheartedly defying inhibitions, societal pressures etc. I am a firm believer of the fact that limits of our capabilities reside only within the boundaries of our mind. When we develop courage to come out of our comfort zone, we can truly enjoy a more fulfilling life. My heartfelt gratitude to my friends and coaches for their encouragement & support during this journey. Special thanks to my family for allowing me to chase my dreams!“
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