One of the most appreciated compliments received by any athlete is from one’s own peers. The Class of 2018 honorees in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame represent the largest group of individuals to be inducted in a single year over the institution’s history.
Each one of this year’s inductees are not only remarkable athletes who have completed incredible feats in the open water, but they are also exceptional humans who lead inspirational lives on dryland. Some have achieved greatness in competitive events, some in solo channel crossings, some in unprecedented marathon swims. While their greatest swims are publicly well-known, it is the relentless dedication and numerous hours they put in hard, solitary training year after year that enable them to complete their swims in lakes, river, seas and oceans around the world.
The honorees are selected annually by a vote of their peers who include Nick Adams, Tamara Bruce, Penny Dean, Yuko Matsuzaki, David O’Brien, Skip Storch, Valerio Valli, Forrest Nelson, David Barra, Dr. Osama Ahmed Momtaz, Michael P. Read, MBE, Peter Bales, Elizabeth Fry, Marcella MacDonald, DPM, Captain Tim Johnson, Vojislav Mijić, Ricardo Ratto, Dr. Jane Katz, Valerie Parsons, Lynn Blouin, Kathrin Lammers, Sally Minty-Gravett, MBE, Evan Morrison, Philip Rush, Dan Simonelli, Ben Barham, Penny Palfrey, Carol Sing, Natalya Pankina, Petar Stoychev, Silvia Dalotto, Stéphane Lecat, Kevin Murphy, Greg Streppel, Peter van Vooren, Jacques Tuset, Attila Mányoki, and John York.
The Class of 2018 includes Trent Grimsey, the current record holder in the English Channel (at 6 hours 55 minutes) who was also a formidable professional marathon swimmer, world-class distance freestyle in the pool, and an extremely successful ocean swimmer who won dozens of races from his native Australia to Brazil.
The International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame is introducing each one of the athletes in the IMSHOF Class of 2018 this week. The Daily News of Open Water Swimming interviewed each of these honorees:
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How does it feel to be inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame – even as you are still involved in the sport?
Trent Grimsey: It does feel great to be recognized for what I was able to achieve in my sport. It’s funny, all the things I was able to achieve in my swimming career mean a lot more to me now than they did back when I was swimming.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What was the most satisfying swim of your career?
Trent Grimsey: I would say my most satisfying swim was in 2012 when I won the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix (Traversée Internationale du lac St-Jean) in Lac Saint Jean, Canada. There is just something about that race – it’s very special. At the finish line there are 5,000 people cheering you on!
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What was the toughest swim of your career?
Trent Grimsey: The Robben Island Swim in South Africa.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Can you describe your English Channel record-breaking swim?
Trent Grimsey: To be honest it was just one of those days where everything went to plan. I had done everything possible to be in the best shape of my life to give that record a crack and was lucky enough to have had the conditions on the day to make it happen.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Can you describe your typical weekly schedule, including your swimming workouts, work and your dryland training, in your heyday?
Trent Grimsey: I was never really a talented swimmer and had no natural ability so I needed to train twice had hard to be on the same playing field as my competitors. My real strength was my drive and motivation.
From 16 to 20 years old, I was swimming 10 or 11 times each week covering 90 to 100 km each week. From 20 to 24 years old, I was swimming 9 or 10 times each week covering 80 to 90 km each week.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What is your most favorite place to swim, anywhere in the world?
Trent Grimsey: Tough question, maybe somewhere tropical with no other swimmers…
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What are you doing now?
Last year, I coached five successful solo swimmers across the English Channel. This season I have coached eight successful solo swimmers across the Channel. Next year (2018) will be a big year; I have 16 solo swimmers signed up that I am coaching.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What were your favorite foods and drinks to take during your swims?
Trent Grimsey: I always feed on the same thing Gatorade and Endure gels… now I can’t stand even looking at a bottle of Gatorade.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What are some of the most beautiful beaches that you have seen?
Trent Grimsey: Unfortunately, most of the marathons I have done have not been at beautiful beaches.
Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What future swims, if any, are you thinking about?
Trent Grimsey: I’m quite content now just coaching other athletes and helping them achieve there swimming dreams. I get the same excitement seeing one of my swimmers do well as I did when I swam well.
Grimsey had a great run, especially in the 2008-2012 period. He won the 2008 RCP Tiburon Mile, placed second at the 2009 FINA World Championships 25 km race, was crowned the 2012 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix champion, and set the record for the fastest English Channel crossing.
His transformation from a good warm-water, short-distance ocean swimmer in Australia to the fastest channel swimmer in the world took effort and time. A review of his swims in 2012 is illustrative:
* 36 km FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix (Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli) in Italy (1st, record)
* 10 km Oceanian Championships in Noumea, New Caledonia (1st)
* Oceanian Championships 400m, 1.5 km and 5 km races in Noumea, New Caledonia (2nd)
* Noosa Blue Ocean Swim on the Sunshine Coast (1st)
* Australian Surf Life Saving Nationals – Taplin Relay on the Gold Coast (1st)
* Mt. Maunganui Sand to Surf Ocean Swim in New Zealand (1st)
* 1 km Mooloolaba Eyeline Ocean Swim on the Sunshine Coast, Australia (1st)
* 5 km Australian National Open Water Swimming Championships (2nd)
* 5 km FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Hernandarias – Parana Sprint in Argentina (1st)
* 57 km FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Santa Fe – Coronda in Argentina (5th)
* FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Santa Fe – Coronda Sprint in Argentina (2nd)
* 10 km New Zealand Open Water National Championships in Lake Taupo, New Zealand (1st)
* Dicky Beach Ocean Swim on the Sunshine Coast (1st)
* State Paihia Classic in New Zealand (1st)
* 30 km FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Ohrid Swim Marathon in Macedonia
* 32 km FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Traversee internationale du lac St-Jean in Canada (1st)
* 34 km FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Traversee internationale du lac Memphremagog in Canada – 7 hours 24 minutes
* FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup lac Megantic in Canada – 2 hours 2 seconds
* September 8th, he set the record for crossing in English Channel from England to France in 6 hours 55 minutes at the age of 24
“What most impressed me about Trent was how he was able to constantly improve over the course of his career. He transformed himself to be able to swim well in cold water and literally willed himself to set the English Channel record,” said Steven Munatones.
“I had the opportunity to cover Trent during the races around the world that he won, but I also observed him in many races where he lost and didn’t perform to his expectations. He was always introspective on what went right and what went wrong during his less satisfactory swims. He was thoughtful when he could have just as easily been upset. He always set out to seek improvement and towards the end of his illustrious career, he achieved what he set out to do.”
And now he is sharing his experience and expertise via his platform Grimsey’s Adult SwimFit.
“Trent and the other new members of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame emulate those exceptional 269 forerunners already enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Since the class of 1963, our marathon swimming inductees from around the world have received the ultimate marathon swimming recognition. They have been immortalized with their names inscribed on the IMSHOF Sea Goddess, our ‘symbol of the sea’,” explained Chairman Christopher Guesdon.
“When Captain Matthew Webb RN conquered the English Channel in 1875 nobody would have thought such a worldwide movement of marathon swimming would be born and where ethics and morals are paramount in pursuit of a successful marathon. The induction ceremony will be held on March 31st 2018 at The Chapel, Beaumont Estate, Old Windsor, UK.”
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