We have always emphasise on the dangers of swimming in open waters. In order to do so, one has to be armed with good swimming knowledge and skills. Even then, it is still recommended to take extra precautions because the open waters are always unpredictable. In the London 2012 Olympics, there is an open water swimming marathon that last for 10-kilometers. To overcome such a challenge, it takes true dedication and determination. Nonetheless, safety should always be the top priority.

Unlike swimming pools, open waters cannot be controlled. In other words, the temperature can vary each day. There isn’t any lanes or starting blocks as well. On average, the marathon will take two hours to complete, depending on the elements too. “To swim at that level, you have to be in the best shape in the world. The swimmers that are competing in this are the best swimmers in the world, and probably the toughest athletes in the world,” said Bryan Krut, who is the coach of Open Water Swim Long Island.

The women’s event is set to be held today in London. This is only the second time that the event is held in the Olympics. It will take place at Hyde Park in the Serpentine, which is a 28-acre lake. Participants will be required to complete a total of six laps around the lake. The entire course will be marked by buoys to guide these participants. There will also be a timing gate, which swimmers will pass through each lap. Bryan believes that those who manage to complete the event are more than just elite open water swimmers. He feels that they are also individuals with a “freak” X-factor. “These guys and gals are professionals, they are freaks of nature in some aspects of it. It’s either you have it or you don’t,” he explained.

Many of the top ten finishers who took part in the event during the previous Beijing 2008 Olympics will return to compete for the gold medal this year. This includes Keri-Anne Payne of Great Britain, the silver medalist for the event in the last Olympics. For the entire story, do check it out here.

Happy Fish Swim School would like to remind everyone that these athletes are professional and well trained. One should never attempt to challenge themselves without being equipped with the necessary skills. If you would like to pick up such skills, please do take a look at our Open Water SwimSafer Course.