When we think about open water swimmers of the past, so many outstanding individuals come to mind from the 19th and 20th centuries. When we think about the contemporary swimmers of modern times, there are so many luminaries that is hard to know where to start.

But when we think about the future generations of open water swimmers who will take positions of leadership in the sport, it is then that we smile the broadest in anticipation.

From Annaleise Carr in Canada to Owen O’Keefe in Ireland, the next generation of charismatic leaders in the open water swimming global community are in abundance. Teenagers like 16-year-old Benjamin Schulte from Guam (shown above from the Olympic 10km Marathon Swim) and 20-somethings like Jen Schumacher from California and Ky Hurst from Australia are primed to serve a role models while Natalie du Toit and Maarten van der Weijden are already seen as well-established global ambassadors of the sport.

These young people speak so eloquently and conduct themselves with such maturity and grace that you know greatness will result in whatever they do.

After the close 2012 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year poll, Schulte wrote these words that are so classy, “What a close race. Congratulations to Stephen Redmond. He is an extremely worthy winner and I hope one day to be able to have a list of accomplishments as extensive as his.

Thank you very much for nominating me. It was an absolutely tremendous honor to have even been thought of!! I never thought I’d get that many votes, but then Guam is not very big and a lot of people either know me, or know of me and word spread very quickly… even the local media got onto it to let everyone know to vote. I was pretty amazed. All the best and congratulations to all the WOWSA winners
.”

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source