What Are Swimmers Known As?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

There are a number of colorful champions, powerful personalities and charismatic characters in the open water swimming world with unusual, funny, or poignant nicknames.

There are also other individuals who are introverted, quiet stalwarts in the sport known by profoundly appropriate monikers.

Many of these individuals are luminaries of the open water swimming world. Others, on the other hand, are relatively unknown and simply enjoy the sport in relative obscurity. Some of them have long passed away; others are just emerging in the sport; and a handful are known only by one name (see below or here):

*The Seaweed Streak: Murray Rose (Australia)
*Mad Adam: Adam Walker (Great Britain)
*Tiburón: Victor Contreras (Chile)
*The Swimming Hun: Gábor Molnár (Hungary)
*The Flying Frenchman: Sylvain Estadieu (France)
*Lighthouse Larry: Larry Herlth (USA)
*The Duke: Duke Kahanamoku (Hawaii)
*Father of Surfing: Duke Kahanamoku (Hawaii)
*Napa Bob: Bob Roper (USA)
*Catalinator: Hank Wise (USA)
*Big River Man: Martin Strel (Slovenia)
*Fish man: Martin Strel (Slovenia)
*Homem Peixe (Portuguese): Martin Strel (Slovenia)
*Pez humano (Spanish): Martin Strel (Slovenia)
*Zabca (Slovene which means frog): Martin Strel (Slovenia)
*Maladin (Chinese): Martin Strel (Slovenia)
*Shark of Quilla Creek: Pedro A Candiotti (Argentina)
*Paddlin’ Professor: Dr. Harry Briggs (USA)
*Carpayo: Daniel Eulogio Carpio Massioti (Peru)
*Doc: James Counsilman (USA)
*El Sharko: Christopher Blakeslee (USA)
*Trento: Trent Grimsey (Australia)
*Crocodile of the Nile: Abdul Latif Abou Heif (Egypt)
*American Torpedo: John Kinsella (USA)
*The Machine: John Kinsella (USA)
*Big Moose: Norman Ross (USA)
*Black Shark: Ernest Vierkoetter (Germany)
*Flying Dutchman: Herman Willemse (Netherlands)
*The King: Claudio Plit (Argentina)
*The King: Paul Asmuth (USA)
*The King: Diego Degano (Argentina)
*Queen Shelley: Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia)
*Nadandolibre: Jose Diaz (Spain)
*Shark man: Eric Shargo (USA)
*Mambo: Gerry Rodrigues (Trinidad & Tobago/USA)
*Johnny Love: Patrick Dodd (USA)
*Gold Medal Mel: Mel Stewart (USA)
*Torpedo Tom: Tom Blower (Great Britain)
*Chuckle: Tim Buckle (Great Britain)
*Moreno: Juan Ignacio Martínez Fernández-Villamil (Spain)
*The Iceman: Sam Silver (USA)
*Iceman: Thomas McGann (USA)
*Dr. Rip: Rob Brander (Australia)
*Dolphinman: Paolo Eros Cerizzi (Italy)
*HHector: Héctor Ramírez Ballesteros (Spain)
*Limbless Waterman: Craig Dietz (USA)
*Tuna: Charles Chapman, Jr. (USA)
*Swimming professor: Frederick Cavill (Australia)
*Mighty Mermaids: Christie Plank Ciraulo, Nancy Steadman Martin, Lisa Bennett, Jenny Cook, Karen Farnsworth Einsidler and Tracy Grilli (USA)
*Dorado: Horacio Iglesias (Argentina)
*Yifter: Steven Munatones (USA)
*Mr. Shark Bait: Herbert Voigt (Australia)
*Stallion: John Chung (USA)
*Killer: Ky Hurst (Australia)
*The Legless Wonder: Charles Zibelman (USA)
*American Legless Wonder: Charles Zibelman (USA)
*The Human Fish: Charles Zibelman (USA)
*Bones: Sean Ryan (USA)
*Skeletor: Sean Ryan (USA)
*PDK: Sean Ryan (USA)
*Joner: Jonathan Strauss (USA)
*The Man Who Can Walk On Water: George Freeth (USA)
*Father of Modern Surfing: George Freeth (USA)
*Brainiac: Brian Ryckeman (Belgium)
*Shark: Brian Ryckeman (Belgium)
*Big Ben: Ben Laughren (USA)
*John Rufwater: John Makinson (USA)
*The Shark: Jim Dreyer (USA)
*Human Tugboat: Jim Dreyer (USA)
*The Brave Swimmer: Gideon Nasilowski (Namibia)
*Superfly: Leora Dahl (Canada)
*Leorganizer: Leora Dahl (Canada)
*Lorla: Leora Dahl (Canada)
*Tiger Twins: Jonathon di Donato and James di Donato (USA)
*Dr G: Genadijus Sokolovas, Ph.D. (USA/Lithuania)
*Mr. Triathlon: Ahmed Zaher (USA)
*Mr. Triathlon: Jack Weiss (USA)
*The Courtesy Man: Jim Moran (USA)
*Humber King: Pete Winchester (UK)
*The Shingle Stomper: Barrie Wakeham (UK)
*The Fearless Frogman: Paul Boyton (Ireland or USA)
*The Flying Fish: Byron Summers (USA)
*Stubby: Harold Herman Kruger (Hawaii)
*Incomparable Water Comedian: Harold Herman Kruger (Hawaii)
*Spooky: Luke Birch (Great Britain)
*Loneswimmer: Donal Buckley (Ireland)
*Dama del Río de la Plata: Noelia Petti (Argentina)
*Little Mermaid: Swapnil Yadav (India)
*Sister Madonna: Madonna Buder (USA)
*Iron Nun: Madonna Buder (USA)
*Champ of the Gulf Coast Waters: Jerry Kerschner (USA)
*America’s Travelin’ Swim Coach: Jerry Kerschner (USA)
*Professor of Swimming: Frederick Cavill (UK/Australia)
*Dolphin Boy: Hank Wise (USA)
*Dr. Chicken: Dr. Joel Saperstein (USA)
*Man of Fat Steel: Kelly Gneiting (USA)
*The Mother of Masters Swimming: June Krauser (USA)
*Sexy Lexie: Lexie Kelly (USA)
*Honey Bear: Jeff Commings (USA)
*Swimonelli: Dan Simonelli (USA)
*Mermaid: Rebecca Sandoval (USA)
*Mountain Mermaid: Eney Jones (USA)
*Heff: Dave Heffernan (USA)
*Queen of the Chichimaun: Colleen Shields (Canada)

These open water swimmers are luminaries of the sport, so renowned that any mention of their first name is immediately recognizable in the open water swimming world:

1. Lynne (Cox), USA
2. Ram (Barkai), South Africa
3. Ned (Denison), Ireland
4. Maarten (van der Weijden), Netherlands
5. Thomas (Lurz), Germany
6. Keri-Anne (Payne), Great Britain
7. Freda (Streeter), Great Britain
8. Penny (Palfrey), Australia
9. Philip (Rush), New Zealand
10. Kevin (Murphy), Great Britain
11. Greta (Andersen), USA
12. Nuala (Moore), Ireland
13. Nejib (Belhedi), Tunisia
14. Nick (Adams), Great Britain
15. Julie (Bradshaw), Great Britain
16. Petar (Stoychev), Bulgaria
17. Ous (Mellouli), Tunisia
18. Claudio (Plit), Argentina
19. Colin (Hill), Great Britain
20. Forrest (Nelson), USA
21. Ron (Collins), USA
22. Annaleise (Carr), Canada
23. Trent (Grimsey), Australia
24. Natalie (du Toit), South Africa
25. Stephen (Redmond), Ireland
26. Lewis (Pugh), South Africa
27. Diana (Nyad), USA
28. Shelley (Taylor-Smith), Australia
29. Charlie (Gravett), Jersey
30. Martin (Strel), Slovenia
31. Patti (Bauernfeind), USA

Photos above show Adam Walker and Lexie Kelly in Aquadeus France Swimwear. Photo by Don Le.

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