Without a doubt, Michael Phelps would be a great open water swimmer, if not one of the best of all time.

The open water swimming world may never see Phelps body surf into shore, be fed from an escort boat or lead a pack around a turn buoy, but his aquatic talents would grace the oceans of the world just as easily as they do in pools.

There are at least 10 reasons why Phelps would be a great open water swimmer:

1. He trains more than enough.

2. He has years of tough training behind him.
3. His pain threshold is well-established. He has the mental toughness to ignore the pain and discomfort that comes with swimming long distances in extreme water temperatures among marine life.
4. He swims freestyle extraordinarily well and his breathing pattern is well-suited to turbulent conditions.
5. He has the ultimate in speed and endurance to beat the fastest men on the planet at 1 km or 1 mile, 5 km or 10 km.
6. He loves winning.
7. He admits to wanting to see more of the world than airports, hotels and swimming pools. Traveling around the world and competing at some of the best beaches and lakes is a great alternative.
8. Other Olympic pool swimming champions – Shane Gould, Sandy Neilson-Bell, Jim Montgomery, John Kinsella – have all learned to enjoy and appreciate the open water as they hung up their swimsuits and transformed to open water aficionados.
9. He is already supporting open water swims like the Swim Across America events.
10. He enjoys sports and athletic competitions, and swimming will remain deeply embedded in his DNA. He may not wish to compete against young guns in 2016 or 2020, but winning in front of 18,000 other competitors at the Midmar Mile or other such mass participation events would undoubtedly bring out his winning smile.

We expect to see Mr. Phelps at the seashore sooner than people expect.

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