The concept of an open water swimming community on the late 19th century – men hanging around the L Street Bathhouse in Boston or the Brighton Swimming Club in England – has now dramatically changed in the early 21st century. The Internet has enabled a globally connected community of enthusiasts of all ages, backgrounds, languages and cultures, who can learn, chat, discuss, debate, educate, entertain, and inspire each other online every moment of every day – and then go swim in their local oceans, lakes, bays and rivers.
There are an estimated 31 billion online searches on Google every month. How many are for open water swimming? Millions is our guess. Where were these questions directed before the ability to search online or communicate via social online networks? Who answered these questions in the 20th century? Modern-day swimmers can now immediately find their answers, issues and problems addressed online by other swimmers in the global open water swimming community.
As with every other subject matter available, the amount of information on open water swimming currently available online is significantly more than the entire amount of information available to swimmers, for example, in 1987 when Lynne Cox swam from Alaska to Russia.
A cursory check online shows that an open water swimming search leads to 3,560,000 videos uploaded on YouTube results on Google and 189,000,000 results on Yahoo.
How much can we possibly learn more about open water swimming and open water swimmers in 2013? In 2023? By 2050?
Significantly more is our prediction.
It is staggering to think where the blue Planet Earth is heading and how we might and can be involved in the continuous evolution of the sport of open water swimming. Football, basketball, volleyball and ice hockey developed in different eras, but the sport of open water swimming is developing in a global communal effort with the assistance and support of every single purpose who uploads, comments and participants in the fastest growing sport in the world.
Exciting times we swim in.
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