Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

If there were an opportunity to magically create the perfect female open water swimmer, what would be involved?

The swimmer would be able to swim well in cold water, warm water, rough water, tranquil water, in the night and under the tropical sun. She could swim well in short ocean swims with heavy surf as well in long marathon swims across channels. She would perform well in elite competitions and be able to plan and complete unprecedented swims in uncharted waters.

The optimal swimmer would be made up of a composite of physiological and psychological attributes of the world’s swimmers. The swimmer would have:

* the tenacity of Angela Maurer
* the guttiness of Penny Palfrey
* the adventurousness of Lynne Cox
* the pioneering spirit of Rose Pitonof
* the courage of Natalie du Toit
* the emotional intelligence of Janel McArdle
* the organizational skills of Audrey Scott
* the oratorical abilities of Diana Nyad
* the speed of Éva Risztov
* the navigational IQ of Keri-Anne Payne
* the inspiration of Gertrude Ederle
* the compassion of Mercedes Glietze
* the competitiveness of Shelley Taylor-Smith
* the prolificity of Alison Streeter
* the business savvy of Annette Kellerman
* the track record of Monique Wildschut
* the intellect of Edith van Dijk
* the industriousness of Penny Dean
* the affability of Eney Jones
* the artistic talents of Lisa Stansbie
* the literary skills of Lynn Sherr
* the strength of Vicki Keith
* the closing speed of Larisa Ilchenko
* the personality of Melissa Gorman
* the high elbow catch of Martina Grimaldi
* the kick of Greta Anderson
* the cold water acclimatization of Nuala Moore
* the medical acumen of Sakura Hingley
* the knowledge of marine life of Angel Yanagihara
* the coaching skills of Sally Minty-Gravett
* the smile of Haley Anderson
* the beauty of Marty Sinn
* the legs of Yvetta Hlaváčová
* the smile of Britta Kamrau
* the eyes of Princess Charlene Wittstock
* the arms of Dana Vollmer
* the all-around athleticism of Greta Andersen

The Perfect Ideal of a Male Swimmer is here.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association