In the water, sir…

The latest swimming events, in the long distances of the Olympic Games, evoke a parade of mythical, real, legendary passages. the journey of Lord Byron in the Dardanelles Strait, the legendary Hellespont, which unites Europe with Asia, from Abydos to Sestos, in a sea of ​​waves the color of wine and opal, with the purpose of demonstrating that the myth of love, tragedy and death was possible , from the birth of swimming, in the fiery passion of Leandro and the priestess Hero. The English poet and hero, who gave his life for the freedom of Greece, swam along with his friend ekenhead; He needed an hour and a half to cross, that May 3, 1810. An action that perhaps influenced another Englishman, Captain Matthew Webb, the first man to cross the English Channel. He swam from Dover to Calais, between August 24 and 25, 1875, in 21 hours and 45 minutes, after fighting for almost 5 interminable hours near the coast of France, when a strong current of icy water prevented him from approaching. How did these men prepare for such adventures? the hungarian alfred hajos he was the first Olympic champion in the 100 and 1,200 m freestyle swim. The competition was in the open sea, in the bay of Zea, near the port of Piraeus. Nine competitors were transported out to sea and two returned. The rest were rescued by boats due to the freezing water. The sea was choppy, with 10 foot waves, and the temperature was 55° Fahrenheit, just under 13° Celsius, brrr! Hajos He said that, abandoned by the barges, he reached the coast more because of the impulse to survive than because of the desire for victory. As he swept into a crowd of 20,000 onlookers, he recalled that the body of his father had slipped from his arms before sinking and drowning in the Danube River in Budapest. Upon receiving Hajos the gold medal, the king of Greece praised him and said: “How good nothing! Where did you learn to swim? The Magyar, with a smile, replied: “In the water, sir! In water…”. The evolution of swimming is wonderful. The legendaries Damian Pizathe first Mexican to cross the English Channel, and Tonatiuh Gutierrez, winner of the Capri-Naples, used thick yellow glasses that slowed down their movement. They trained with lead leggings around their ankles and tied to the pool wall with a strong elastic waistband and tirelessly swung their arms as part of their long-distance preparation. train with tonatiuh it was a daily furious fight to the death. Jaime Lomelin Gavaldonwho in a few more weeks will be enthroned in the Hall of Fame for long-distance swimmers in New York, with the purpose of crossing the English Channel filled the bathtub at home with ice and submerged for six or eight hours to adapt his body to the ice cream and not suffer hypothermia problems. Hugo Rodriguez Barrosoif he had not exercised equally, he would not have saved his life in the bivouac he did, at more than 8 thousand m high!, on Everest.

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