Roger Parsons, Val Parsons Shares Their Passion and Roles On WOWSA Live

Roger Parsons, Val Parsons Shares Their Passion and Roles On WOWSA Live

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International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame chairman Ned Denison interviewed fellow Hall of Famers Roger Parsons, a former British submariner, and his marathon swimming wife and fellow administrator Val Parsons on today’s edition of WOWSA Live.

In their WOWSA Live interview from their home in Spain, the husband-and-wife duo talked about a wide variety of topics:

* Val setting her first swimming record in Lake Bala in 1970 and then won 38 of 40 open water swims over the course of her career, winning overall in 17 of them
* sharing enthusiasm and passion with Dale Petranech over the decades
* Val winning James Brennan Memorial Trophy from the British Long Distance Swimming Association twice, the only time it was awarded twice to one person
* developing the concept of Champion of Champions event with its 5-mile, 3-mile, 1-mile races back-to-back
* organizing the 1975 Captain Matthew Webb Centenary Channel Swim, with the support of three British minesweepers protecting the 12 national teams across the English Channel
* recalling that FINA president Mustapha Larfaoui initially did not want anything to do with open water swimming
* remembering the establishment of the International Marathon Swimming Association (previously called the International Marathon Swimming Federation), a merger of the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation and the International Long Distance Swimming Federation to establish a World Series in 1992
* working with FINA to add marathon swimming to the Olympics, after additional synchronized swimming and diving events were added
* establishing a standard in 1997-1998 that allowed IMSA athletes to take part in the FINA World Series, a critical step moving forward
* believing that the minimum distance of marathon swimming should be 25 km

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Steven Munatones