The Special
Olympics World Summer Games
offered open water swimming for the first time in its history.  The inherent danger, the potential risks and the numerous
issues involved in putting individuals with intellectual disabilities in the sea were overcome by a team of committed volunteers in Athens, Greece. 

The  1.5K world championship event in the Bay of Marathon in the Aegean Sea was won by Andrew Smilley of the Cayman Islands and Cornelia Fowler of
South Africa where 35 athletes from 19 countries safely competed.  The athletes raced passionately and showed the world that well-prepared intellectually disabled athletes can perform well in the open water. 

When each of the athletes started the race, they demonstrated excellent navigational IQ and good racing tactics.  When they dramatically crossed the finish line, the widest smiles and the most heartfelt tears were shed by everyone who was privileged to watch the Special Olympics World Summer Games.  For
serving as a catalyst to expand the sport among the Special Olympics
international family, the Special Olympics World Summer Games is a worthy
nominee for the 2011 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.  

For more information on the Special Olympics World Summer Games, visit here.


WOWSA aims to promote open water swimming as a global sport for those of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.  It hosts the World Open Water Swimming Awards to recognize the open water swimming’s heroes and heroines.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source