Olympic silver medalist and 5 km world champion Haley Anderson courtesy of Mitchell Haaseth of NBC for Hell’s Kitchen.

World championship medalist Ashley Twichell of the U.S.A.

3-time Olympian and 10 km world champion Poliana Okimoto of Brazil.

Reigning world 10 km champion Aurélie Muller of France © L’Agora du Sport.

Powerful, lithe, and graceful.

These are some of the adjectives that come to mind when we think about the physiques of the fastest open water swimmers in the world today.

As speeds increase at every level, the musculature and body mass index of the best swimmers seem to change slightly as elite open water swimmers close their third Olympic quadrennial. It appears to be as true at the ice swimming, winter swimming, channel swimming, marathon swimming, and relay swimming as it is at the Olympic level.

But even more impressively, these women are clearly eloquent, unfailingly gracious, and deeply appreciative. They are respectfully humble, intelligent and highly competitive. They have it all: brains, brawn and beauty.

With an increasing amount of media exposure, it is without question that a greater number of opportunities are coming their way. It is unfortunate there is only one winner when they all race together for they are all wonderful ambassadors of the sport. Fortunately, they are scattered about the globe and this helps the expansion of the sport.

Anderson, Twichell, Okimoto, and Muller will face off against one another at next Friday’s USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships in Fort Myers, Florida in the fastest, deepest, most competitive marathon swim ever held in America.

The 10 km entry list is posted here.

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