An Exercise In Open Water Swimming Democracy


The World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation was an example of democracy where dozens of swimmers from dozens of countries, speaking different languages with different lifestyles and cultural backgrounds, got together annually to discuss and debate what was best for marathon swimmers.

Throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, the Federation was a remarkable association and gathering where each swimmer could freely express themselves and air their opinions and recommendations on how best to move the sport forward.

The swimmers from Claudio Plit to Shelley Taylor-Smith saw themselves as a tight group of like-minded endurance athletes who faced Mother Nature in unique risk-taking adventures. The World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation was a remarkable example of democracy and global passion by young adults that was effectively eliminated in the late 1980s. It was disbanded when it was succeeded by the International Marathon Swimming Association which was effectively eliminated when FINA took over the sanctioning and management of the pro circuit in 1991.

For more information, visit here. For its constitution, visit here.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming

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