What A Year She Had, Sylvia Rybárová

What A Year She Had, Sylvia Rybárová

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The nominees for the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year are always an heroic and impressive group of individuals with exceptional exploits, histories and lifestyles.

Their long hours of training and their disciplined mindset, the conditions and logistics they must face all seem to come together just right throughout the year.

Sylvia Rybárová of the Czech Republic swam a total of marathon swims in 2014 to become this year’s FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Co-Champion. She dramatically tied 3-time Grand Prix champion Pilar Geijo of Argentina as they raced head-to-head over a total of 295 km in both warm- and cold-water conditions on different continents.

Both women, like their fellow WOWSA Award nominees, clearly embody the spirit of open water swimming and possess the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for.

Rybárová is rarely seen without a smile. And for good reason. She enjoys what she is doing, she appreciates all those who support her and the sport, and her sense of sportsmanship is at the highest level.

This year, she finished all 7 marathon races she entered to capture her first FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix championship. She only won one race, but she consistently placed high throughout the professional marathon swimming circuit at the 57 km Maratón Acuática Internacional Santa Fe – Coronda, 88 km Maratón Hernandarias-Paraná, 15 km Maratón Cancún, 32 km Traversée Internationale du lac St-Jean, 34 km Traversée Internationale du lac Memphrémagog, 33 km Ohrid Lake Swim Marathon and 36 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli.

She has gradually improved her stamina, strength and speed over the years and acclimated herself to the travel required of marathon swimmers while dealing with the ravages of racing in rivers, lakes and seas and battling the world’s fastest marathon swimmers over the last few years. Rybárová has had quite a year.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association