Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

FINIS Ambassador and Estonian open water swimmer Merle Liivand will take part in the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) World Championships is taking place in Sarasota, Florida this weekend.

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Liivand learned about UIPM. This weekend, she will compete on Saturday’s race that will involve an 800m run followed by a 50m swim, and 4 rounds of shooting, and Sunday’s biathlon race will be a 1600m run + 200m swim + 1600m run.

I am honored to be here and compete. One of my family was diagnosed with breast cancer after two other family members are battling with serious health issues and pain at the same time. I can’t say it has been easy to train.

I have been dragging myself to practice with a painful feeling. Somehow, everything has happened all the same time and it has been hard to deal with. But if my two grandmothers and Mum are battling something big and face the challenges, then I think I can carry on their strength.

Honestly, without sports, I could not keep going on with life in the toughest of times. I have responsibilities outside the water, but I am more than ready to race and fight like my family female squad is doing. I am honored to be a swimmer so many ways. October is the breast cancer month and I support that fight in many ways. I swim and compete for the cure
.”

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