Courtesy of WOWSA, Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Daily News of Open Water Swimming focuses on educating and entertaining those who venture beyond the shore. It covers solo marathon swims, professional races, channel relays, charity events, ice swimming, eco-swims, stage swims, extreme swimming adventures, trends, products, services, personalities, coaches, governing bodies, rules, demographics, books, films, blogs, conferences, camps, clinics and happenings in oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, dams, canals, channels, fjords, estuaries, lochs, coves, firths, straits, bays, and harbors around the world.
But the Daily News of Open Water Swimming also covers potential for changes – both minor and major – in the sport. These changes have included split timing, drone usage, transponders, GPS utilization, and incorporation of tech suits in the sport.
One potential for long-range change in the open water swimming community is the development of the International Swimming League in the pool swimming community.
Olympic gold medalists and world champion swimmers across the globe will begin the International Swimming League’s (ISL) inaugural season this October in seven cities across the United States and Europe. The model can, perhaps, someday be a model for the elite professional marathon swimmers in the open water.
The ISL season will culminate in December at a custom-built pool in the heart of Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
In April, Olympic champions Katie Ledecky, Adam Peaty, cancer survivor Nathan Adrian, Ryan Murphy, and Simone Manuel announced their involvement as official ambassadors of the league. With more than 200 of the world’s best pool swimmers committed to the new business model and competitive swim season, ISL is attempting to liven up the sport with a dynamic, fast-paced team-competition format.
The goal of ISL is to offer athletes more opportunities to swim competitively outside of the quadrennial Olympic Games, as well as provide the athletes with financial support and year-round global recognition. S
Jason Lezak, General Manager of Cali Condors, says, “We are thrilled to introduce professional swimming to a new generation of sports fans, bringing them face to face with these incredible competitors.”
The meets will be held at the following locations:
● October 4th – 5th: Indiana Univeristy Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI in Indianapolis, Indiana
● October 12th – 13th: Aquatic Swimming Complex (Piscina Felice Scandone), Via Giochi del Mediterraneo, Napoli, Italy
● October 18th – 19th: The LISD Westside Aquatic Center in Lewisville, Texas (outside of Dallas)
● October 26th – 27th: Duna Arena in Budapest, Hungary
● November 15th – 16th: Natatorium at the Eppley Recreation Center in College Park, Maryland (outside Washington, D.C.)
● November 23th – 24th: London Aquatic Centre, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London
● December 20th – 21st: Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada
A temporary 25-meter pool will be built in the Mandalay Bay Events Center, a 12,000-seat arena, to celebrate the International Swimming League finals. Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino is set on 120 lush acres and is recognized for its tropical pool paradise with real sand, along with its award-winning restaurants, exhilarating entertainment, unique shopping, Shark Reef Aquarium, its vastly expansive Mandalay Bay Convention Center, and its three different distinct hotel experiences: Mandalay Bay, Four Seasons Hotel and Delano Las Vegas.
“Imagine Mandalay Bay being the site of an all-out open water race on its faux beach,” said Steven Munatones. “You can pit the world’s fastest pool swimmers like Michael Andrew and Nathan Adrian against elite open water pros like Ferry Weertman, Jordan Wilimovsky and Gregorio Paltrinieri in the outdoor facilities – swimming with and against the man-made waves. That would be great entertainment and promotion for the sport.”
Outdoor wave pool at the Mandalay Bay, potential site for a mano-a-mano open water swimming competition between the world’s best in pool and open water swimming.
Natalie Taylor at the University of Maryland, says, “We are excited to welcome athletes and spectators to the Eppley Recreation Center on the campus of the University of Maryland for the inaugural International Swim League. Our large swimming community is ready to embrace all of the athletes and look forward to cheering on some very fast swimmers.”
The team at Indiana University Natatorium says, “We are thrilled to be selected as one of the sites of the International Swimming League’s inaugural season. It’s our belief that we have the best combination of aquatic facility, accommodations, food, volunteers, and hospitality right here in central Indiana. We look forward to collaborating with our local swimming community, Indianapolis, ISL staff, and local vendors to provide a great event for all involved.”
“Swimming is the most watched sport at the Olympic Games and we expect the ISL will generate nation-wide engagement which will lead to long-term sustainability not just for the league, but for the entire sport of swimming,” says ISL management consultant Paris Jacobs. “Ticket sales will go live in July.”
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