I learned recently that I was nominated for the 2016 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year. Check out the list here. The reason for my post is to get you all to vote. Vote for who you think is most deserving but vote nonetheless. Why? Open water swimming needs your support and everyone's support. We open water enthusiasts get nary a mention in any of the swimming news. SwimSwam (a great site for swimming news) offers stories of dogs more than people and rule changes more than performances. At least they mention open water swimming. Sites that have less dedication to swimming but focus on sports in general don't even give open water swimming any credit.
People do amazing things every year and scarcely anyone outside our little, awesome community pays much attention. As Cheryl Ward (my coach and friend) wrote to our team "[v]oting ends in 2 weeks. I just did it and it took me a minute to register with open water swimming (it's free don't worry), then a minute to scroll down to the performance of the year nominees and put a checkmark beside..." the person who impressed you the most. My wonderful coach Cheryl asked our team to vote for me. I'm humbled by the support but I urge all of you to vote and vote for the person who you think really did the swim of the year. Click here to vote.
Permit me to offer a little insight into some of my friends. First, Roger Finch - a Facebook friend and a person I met several times while I traveled the world - represents all that is good about this sport. He was nominated for 2016 Open Water Swimming Man of the Year and I think he deserves it like no other. No offense to the others on the list. Roger is selfless and dedicated to the sport. I have yet to hear one person mention his name without the words "awesome" or "terrific" in the same sentence - all without profanity mind you too. I wish the same could be said for yours truly. Second, you all need to read each and every nominee for the women. These gals are fantastic! I am not sure who ought to win but I can say confidently that they are all extremely impressive. From professional swimmers, Olympians (medalists too) to full-time professionals who endure these swims, I found myself torn to endorse any individual. Instead, I will encourage you to read about these fabulous women and to express may warmest gratitude for being included on the same page as these fantastic folks.
So please vote. If you don't know what I did, you will read about it on the page. For convenience, here is what they said:
Professor Patrick McKnight made two attempts at climbing Mount Everest in 2014 and 2015, but then he turned his focus on completing the fastest Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming in history. The 50-year-old had a target on a record set by a world-class 24-year-old from one of the hotbeds of channel swimming. He made his plans, he bought his airline tickets, and he left no room for going off plan. He started with a Catalina Channel crossing on July 12th in 11 hours 4 minutes; he crossed the English Channel on July 21st in 12 hours 54 minutes; he completed his Manhattan Island circumnavigation on August 15th in 7 hours 31 minutes to break the record by 1 day. For his eclectic interest in conquering challenges from tall mountains to tough channels, for taking on and breaking a record of an elite swimmer less than half his age, for flawlessly pulling off his 34-day plan en route to living a purpose-driven life, Professor Patrick McKnight's Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming is a worthy nominee for the 2016 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.