Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Conrad Wennerberg, who wrote one of the most definitive books on marathon swimming (Wind, Waves and Sunburn – A Brief History of Marathon Swimming), has a treasure trove of first-hand insights into marathon swimming and the world of open water swimming. Here is one such interesting historical tidbit:

Olympic hero and movie star Johnny Weissmuller was selected by the World Professional Marathon Swimming Association to be its official spokesman. In this capacity, Weissmuller attended several of the professional marathon races.

On one occasion, he was asked to present the award and prize money to the winning marathon swimmer. As Johnny got up on the stage, he let loose with his famous Tarzan Yell (listen here), handed the swimmer his check and prize, and then simply sat down without saying a single word.

Simple. Dramatic. Iconic. A truly classic awards ceremony.

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