Monday, January 24, 2011

Orthodox Christian Holiday in Macedonia Includes Diving for Cross

cross diving

I was browsing around on, and found photos of this interesting celebration. Here is the photo description:

“Macedonian Jovan Delov triumphantly shows the cross he pulled out of the waters of the lake Ohrid during the traditional holiday of Epiphany in Ohrid on January 19, 2011. Macedonians celebrate the Baptism of Christ with Orthodox Christian priests consecrating the waters of lakes and rivers by throwing a cross in it and men diving to find it. According to the belief, the one who finds the cross has a year of good luck” (source).

I couldn’t help but notice that the guy who ends up finding the cross is the only one wearing goggles!

orthodox christian cross diving

The one who finds the cross will have a year of good luck, but I don’t think he needs it – he’s already got brains!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fran Crippen Dies In Open Water 10K World Cup

fran crippen

I thought I would just get online to check my email before going to bed, but I didn’t expect the devastating news that was waiting in my Google Reader. Fran Crippen, 26, died earlier today in the Open Water 10K World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

According to information from Swimming World, “Crippen had shown signs of slowing down during the third lap of the five-lap race” (source). And the causes of Crippen’s death are still under investigation (source).

Statements from the USOC, USA Swimming, and FINA can be found in a comprehensive article on Swimming World.

I still don’t know how to process this information. Not only am I shocked that a world class swimmer could drown in a World Cup event, but it’s difficult to think of an amazing athlete, the same age as myself, having their life tragically cut short.

I know this video clip from Go Swim was never intended to be used as a memorial to Fran (video below), but the clip superimposes his career achievements onto footage of him swimming, so I thought it would be nice to play (especially for anyone who is not already familiar with Fran and his pink briefs).

Updates: 10/24/2010, 10:45am

Latest news reports that Fran Crippen died of a fatal heart attack (source), however, the high water temperature (87 degrees) has led to some speculation that it may have contributed to his death.

According to FINA President, Julio Maglione, this is the first death in any FINA event. (source)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lewis Pugh’s Lecture About His Mind-Shifting Everest Swim

lewis pugh mt. everest swim

In October 2009, I blogged about Lewis Pugh’s upcoming swim at Mt. Everest. Now, almost a year later, I finally stumbled across this great video lecture of Lewis Pugh himself giving his reaction to the swim.

lewis pugh mt. everest swim

lewis pugh mt. everest swim

The video is from a TED Conference, which started out as a symposium for Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED), but has evolved into a small nonprofit and platform for Ideas Worth Spreading. The full transcript and video are available from, here is a small excerpt:

“I swam as quickly as I could for the first hundred meters, and then I realized very, very quickly, I had a huge problem on my hands. I could barely breathe. I was gasping for air. I then began to choke, and then it quickly led to me vomiting in the water. And it all happened so quickly I then — I don’t know how it happened — but I went underwater.”

Watch the full video below to learn about how the Mt. Everest swim taught Lewis Pugh a radical new way to approach swimming, and think about climate change.

You can learn more about Lewis’ training in a video by Speedo (posted on the17thman). I also pulled these quotes from the lecture transcript because Lewis Pugh has some great perspective on mental training:

“there is nothing more powerful than the made-up mind” – Lewis Pugh (1:24 on video above)

“I put on my iPod, I listened to some music, I got myself as aggressive as possible — but controlled aggression — and then I hurled myself into that water.” – Lewis Pugh (5:00 on video above)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

In Brief #44

> Can it get any worse?: industrial bleach as cancer and HIV cure Science-Based Medicine
> Five things we learned at the Swimming Nationals Universal Sports
> Third Time Lucky For Silchenko Red Bull Cliff Diving
> Pinniped Party at the End of the Pier Rob Aquatics
> Thoughts on Televising Nationals Swimming Science
> Cool Fencing Picture of the Day: Ocean Fencing! Tim Morehouse
> How to Take Your Swimming Pool Workout to the Beach Mat Luebbers
> Ryan Lochte vs. Michael Phelps: A Battle of the Titans Column by John Lohn

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rob Aquatics Announces Summer Open Water Tour

rob aquatics summer open water tour

Last night, I got an email with a big announcement from Rob Aquatics. This summer, Rob Dumouchel will be taking his blog and his enthusiasm for open water swimming on tour across this great nation. Can Masters swimmers go on tour? Rob says why not!

You can read more about Rob’s big announcement on his blog, where he talks about turning the vision into reality.

With the support of blueseventy as a corporate sponsor, Rob’s busy summer kicks off with the USMS 1 Mile Open Water Championships at Lake Norman in Charlotte, NC on May 29th, and will wrap up with a September 11th swim at Big Shoulders (5k) in Chicago, IL.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lorne Pier To Pub Swim Brings Caped Crusader And Herd-Like Masses

The photo on Tony’s post: Massive open water swim: “Pier pressure sends 4000 into the sea for a summer tradition” reminded me of a herd of wildebeest frantically pushing their way into a river.

His post refers to an article on that talks about the Lorne Pier to Pub swim – an open water event that sent an astonishing 4000 participants racing into the water and across Louttit Bay in Victoria, Australia.

I’m also fond of the swimmer who wore a Batman costume during the race. I’m glad that I’m not the only person to instinctively draw a connection between Batman and swimming.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cool But Freaky Shark Attack Wetsuit Print

I found the shark attack wet suit print on, thanks to SwimNetwork’s link to the 10 Coolest Places To Swim found on the same site.

The wetsuits are made by Amsterdam art and design studio … by diddo. This edgy studio also makes designer gas masks and weapon jewelry.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Real “Waterworld” Exoplanet Found 42 Light Years Away

This news comes from Discovery News via Discovery Space producer Ian O’Neill. The “super-Earth” exoplanet GJ 1214b was found orbiting a red dwarf star a mere 42 light years from Earth. “Super-Earth” planets are those with masses between 5-10 times that of our own Earth. Most known exoplanets – planets outside our own solar system – are much larger because earlier detection methods could not identify Earth sized planets.

This new planet is only 6.5 times the mass and 2.7 times wider than our planet, which means it resembles our own planet’s characteristics much more closely than other “hot-Jupiter” type planets.

waterworld kevin costner

What’s especially fascinating about GJ 1214b is the likely abundance of water (possibly in liquid form). By measuring the size, mass, and density of the planet, David Charbonneau and his team at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. were able to determine that the planet is made of up to 75 percent water. This will later be confirmed by atmospheric analysis.

Don’t grab your wetsuit just yet
Although a Waterworld might sound appealing to open water swimmers, these oceans are around 530 degrees Fahrenheit (280 degrees Celsius). On Earth, these temperatures would boil the oceans, but it’s possible that atmospheric conditions on GJ 1214b keep things flowing.

Read more about GJ 1214b from the article “Waterworld” Super-Earth Discovered by Discovery News

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Collection Of Icy Swim Stories For Winter Reading

Ice Swimming includes the Polar Bear Plunge as described by Wikipedia

The members of Canadian and American “polar bear clubs” go outdoor bathing or swimming in the middle of winter. In some areas it is unusual or ceremonial enough to attract press coverage. “Polar bear plunges” are conducted as fund-raisers for charity, notably the Special Olympics

Swimming With Icebergs by NPR science producer Jason Orfanon. (via @TravelinMike)

Standing on the dock edge, with a giant iceberg floating off to my right, a glacier looming far to my left, and Antarctica all around me, I didn’t have a second thought before leaping. I splashed into the water below, and it was cold — but that was dwarfed by invigoration. I felt like I had been shaken awake. Everything around me snapped into clear focus. A triple shot of Antarctic espresso to the brain, with a side of iceberg, please.

Creek Man’s icy swim inspires $5K donation by Dave Choate for (via @GoSwim)

A stranger staying at the Stage Neck Inn heard about Gary “Creek Man” Sredzienski’s Sunday swim through frigid waters and the effort to raise money to fight hunger, according to Share Our Strength volunteer Denise Wheeler, and decided he wanted to help out. He wandered into a show being performed by The Serfs, a band that includes Sredzienski, and left after giving the group a $5,000 check.

Furthest Under Ice Swim by Wim Hof for the Guinness World Record (via YouTube)

Dutchman Wim Hof swam 57.5 m. (188.6 ft.) under three feet of an ice lake near the Finnish village of Kolari, deep inside the Arctic Circle on March 16, 2000. Using no special equipment, he wore only swim shorts and a pair of goggles!

Lewis Gordon Pugh To Swim Glacial Lake On Mount Everest from Kast-A-Way Blog previous post (via SwimNetwork)

His purpose is to highlight the impact of global warming and the melting of glaciers. Armed with traditional swim trunks (i.e., no wetsuit or technical swimsuit), goggles and a single swim cap, Pugh is training to swim about 20 minutes in the frigid waters of the Khumbu Glacier.

Blood-pressure response to swimming in ice-cold water by Zenner RJ, De Decker DE, Clement DL hosted by PubMed

Systolic blood-pressure increased significantly while the subjects were waiting undressed in cold air in the cabin by the pond. Neither immersion nor swimming in the ice-cold water caused further increase in systolic blood-pressure, and diastolic blood-pressure showed only a modest rise. 4 min later, blood-pressure had returned to control values.

Santa Speedo Run 2009 Gallery from, additional photos from the17thman

They didn

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lewis Gordon Pugh To Swim Glacial Lake On Mount Everest

lewis gordon pugh everest open water swim

Yesterday’s Open Water Wednesday on featured Lewis Gordon Pugh and his upcoming extreme open water swim. Pugh plans to swim 1 kilometer in a glacial lake at an elevation of 17,000 feet in the Himalayas.


“His purpose is to highlight the impact of global warming and the melting of glaciers. Armed with traditional swim trunks (i.e., no wetsuit or technical swimsuit), goggles and a single swim cap, Pugh is training to swim about 20 minutes in the frigid waters of the Khumbu Glacier.” (source)

Pugh is no stranger to freezing conditions, however, because he has previously conquored both the North and South Pole (videos on

You can read about Lewis Gordon Pugh’s North Pole swim on World Culture Pictorial, which is also where I found the photos for this post.

Pugh’s real open water swims put the previous events of the Photoshop Winter Olympics to shame:

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