Vojislav Mijić of Serbia has said, “In Serbia, we now have 15 marathon swims per year. When I first started swimming marathons back in 1973, people told me that I was a very crazy man. But now, everything has changed. Marathon swimming is now in the Olympics. I am deeply satisfied in my heart.”
Perhaps Mijić was considered crazy, unusual or unique in the 1970s, but now in the 46th year of the International Šabac Swim Marathon, marathon swimming has transformed itself to the conventional with a growing number of athletes of all ages and abilities.
The International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer has shared his dream of marathon swimming with others by organizing short 33m ice swims like the Epiphany Swimming for the Holy Cross of Honour to the longer 19 km marathons like the Plivački maraton Jarak-Šabac.
Born in 1953 in Šabac, Mijić worked as a chemical engineer for 30 years while always volunteering and organizing open water events. “I learned how to swim in the River Sava where the Šabac Swim Marathon takes place [which he won himself in 1978).” He created the Committee for Marathon and Long Distance Swimming in the Republic of Serbia and goes by a nickname that can be translated into English as ‘the man who swims better than he walks.’
“The Organization Committee has the honor and pleasure to invite the best swimmers from all the world to take part in the 46th Šabac Swim Marathon in Serbia on August 2nd. It is 19 km downstream with the river Sava. Each participant and his or her coach will be provided with a two-day accommodation and full board at the local hotel, Dvor, and will be accompanied by an escort boat. First place for both men and women is €1000 with second place €500 for second place and €300 for third. We will provide visa assistance upon request, but all swimmers are asked to bring their national flags and anthems. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.”
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