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6611 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Aug 20, 2008 5:46 PM by Munatones
Munatones Amateur 14 posts since
Jun 19, 2008
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Jun 19, 2008 9:03 PM

Newest Sport in the Olympics


Did you know  the newest sport in the Olympics is open water swimming?   The world's best open water swimmers will knock heads as they compete 10 kilometers around the Olympic rowing basin.  The four-loop race, formally called the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, will come down to a frantic sprint where anything goes.



It could be said that the sport of open water swimming was initially sparked by Captain Matthew Webb who first crossed the English Channel in 1875. Since that time, 811 people have successfully swum the English Channel. Compare that number with the 2,436 people who have scaled Mount Everest 3,679 times since Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first visited the peak in 1953.


The swimming events at the first Olympics in 1896 in Athens were open water races held in the cold Aegean Sea in October, including a 4-kilometer race. At the 1900 Paris Olympics, the athletes swam 7 different events - all downstream - in the Seine River.


There are over 200 open water swimming competitions in the U.S., ranging from the Waikiki Roughwater Swim (the inspiration behind the 2.4-mile leg of the Ironman Triathlon) to the 28.5-mile race around Manhattan Island that sells out in 90 minutes. In the U.S., it is estimated that 750,000 people do some form of open water swimming, whether it is for fitness or triathlon competitions.


There are another 200 major open water swimming competitions around the world, ranging from 17,500 people competing annually in the Midmar Mile in South Africa to nearly 4,000 people racing across the 12-mile Rottnest Channel in western Australia.


If anyone is interested in going to watch the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, the Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing venue is about 35 kilometers from the main Olympic Village and is closer to the Beijing Airport.



Steven Munatones (,,, and

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