What Is The Pitch For Swimming In America?
Photos courtesy of USA Swimming.
While there is reportedly over one million individuals who do some form of winter swimming throughout China, over 85% of Australians live near its beautiful coastlines, and nearly every elementary school in Japan has a swimming pool on its campus, America is another country where swimming is popular at all levels.
Since the days of its founding fathers like Benjamin Franklin who swam in the 18th century, the sport of swimming has been long popular with a number of heroes like Johnny Weissmuller and Gertrude Ederle that continued through the more contemporary eras of Mark Spitz and Michael Phelps.
But today swimming really came to the forefront when America’s swimming stars were featured on the opening day of Major League Baseball games throughout America. Olympic champions Phelps, Natalie Coughlin, Missy Franklin, Katie Ledecky, and Janet Evans sported the jerseys of their local teams and were cheered on by stadiums filled with tens of thousands of fans and millions more watching on television and online.
To the best of our knowledge, the most recent open water swimmer who has been honored in an American professional sports stadium is Darren Miller [see here] when he was honored in front of over 19,000 fans at a professional National Hockey League game between the Boston Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2013 in honor of his achievement of the Oceans Seven.
Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Southern California native, born 1962, is the creator of the WOWSA Awards, Oceans Seven, Openwaterpedia, Citrus Corps, World Open Water Swimming Association, Daily News of Open Water Swimming, Global Open Water Swimming Conference. He is Chief Executive Officer of KAATSU Global and KAATSU Research Institute. Inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (Honor Swimmer, Class of 2001) and Ice Swimming Hall of Fame (Honor Contributor – Media, Class of 2019), recipient of the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s Poseidon Award (2016), International Swimming Hall of Fame’s Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award (2010), USA Swimming’s Glen S. Hummer Award (2007, 2010) and Harvard University’s John B. Imrie Award (1984). Served on the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee and as Technical Delegate with the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games, and 9-time USA Swimming coaching staff.