Was Odysseus A Marathon Swimmer?

Was Odysseus A Marathon Swimmer?

Was Odysseus A True Marathon Swimmer?

Painting shows of Athena Revealing Ithaca to Ulysses (Odysseus) by Giuseppe Bottani (18th century).

Was Odysseus among the first mythical character to be a marathon swimmer?

According to Homer’s famous epic story Odyssey, Odysseus was sailing from Thrinacia to Ogygia when his ship was struck by a thunderbolt and all his men were killed except him. He survived by swimming to Ogygia and then spent seven year with Calypso before escaping.

While many modern scholars do not associate these locations with any existing geography, we imagined where Odysseus would have swum below. According to scholars, Thrinacia is associated with either Sicily or Malta while Ogygia is often associated with Gozo. If those is the case, then we made the following assumptions:

If Odysseus swam from Malta to Gozo, this would make his swim a doable 6 km (3.7 miles).

If Odysseus swam from Sicily to Gozo, this would have made his swim a much more godlike 93 km (57.8 miles), certainly doable, perhaps as a stage swim.

If Odysseus swam from Malta to the Atlantic Ocean, this would have made his aquatic adventure truly mythical at 1,772 km (1,101 miles).

The Malta-Gozo-Malta Open Water Swimming Competition is held in Malta, organized by the Birkirkara St Josephs Sports Club in the archipelago situated in the Mediterranean Sea south of the coast of Sicily, Italy. The course is a channel swim between Malta and Gozo.

There are two distances in the event: a 5.5 km one-way crossing and a two-way 11 km crossing, usually held on the third Saturday of August. The two-way 11 km swim starts in Marfa Bay, Malta with a turn-around buoy in Qala, Gozo and the finish in Marfa Bay. The one-way 5. km swim starts from Gozo.

The Festina Gozo-Malta Open Water Swimming Competition is a competitive swim that may serve to generate funds for the swimmer’s favored charity. All swimmers are escorted by safety boats. Swimming in groups up to 4 is allowed, although group swimming is not part of the competition.

The channel swim, one of the World’s Top 100 Open Water Swims, is part of the local open water swimming championship series organized by the Birkirkara St Josephs Sports Club which manages another 6 coastal swims, 5 of which are 2 km and one 4 km. These swims are held between June and August and serve as qualifiers for the local swimmers to do the channel swim. Foreigner swimmers must produce a recent medical certificate and a letter from their coach, club and national federation for them to participate.

For more information, visit here.

2019 Results 11 km Malta – Gozo – Malta:
1. Satariano Leah 3:02:13
2. Vella Robert 3:02:43
3. Desira Nicholas 3:06:53
4. Ruggier Anjelika 3:13:19
5. Boross Kamilla 3:16:15
6. Zarb Isabelle 3:23:31
7. Doyle Rachel 3:29:47
8. Briffa Kristjan 3:32:20
9. Remedios Eileen 3:39:19
10. Grech Matthew 3:43:03
11. Cremona Anthony 3:46:50
12. Farrugia Bernard 4:01:30
13. Zammit Klara 4:01:34
14. Wilson Russel 4:27:17

2019 Results 5.5 km Gozo – Malta:
1. Debono Grech Stefano 1:28:07
2. Cutajar Hannah 1:31:44
3. Sammut Mark 1:32:25
4. Ferluga Enrico 1:40:28
5. Farrugia Andrew-Neal 1:49:31
6. Apap Bologna Steven 1:50:51
7. Sant Julian 1:59:27
8. Meli Andrew 2:02:25
9. Apap Bologna Daniela 2:02:26
10. Zammit Christian 2:04:01
11. Bezzina Jesmond 2:06:48
12. Pace Rosette 2:08:26
13. Micallef Neville 2:08:48
14. Statkus Mindaugas 2:09:58
15. Magro Gazzano Carl 2:10:25
16. Cini Andreas 2:14:34
17. Veranneman Van Hoeck Amand 2:15:53
18. Schembri Valerio 2:17:05
19. Caruana Dingli Dabbie 2:20:07
20. Mifsud Damian 2:20:08
21. Cini Inger 2:22:11
22. Grech Michael 2:24:33
23. Curmi Christian 2:35:21
24. Vella-Galea Maria 2:36:18
25. Buhagiar Matthew 2:39:10
26. Rapinett Greta 3:01:18

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