Valentines Day...Swim for your Heart
From OpenwaterpediaPat Gallant-Charette.
To raise public awareness of heart disease, its prevention, and to educate and support heart programs worldwide.
On 14 February 2011 the international swim community was first asked to unite in an effort to draw attention to heart health by holding a variety of educational and fund raising activities. The enthusiasm and energy in embracing this initial grassroots undertaking was impressive. Participation in 2012 skyrocketed globally with swimmers from 29 countries participating.
Swimmers from around the world of all shapes, sizes, ages and skill levels, along with their supporters are once again being called on to lead the way in fighting heart disease. Individuals or groups who choose to raise funds can contribute to their favorite local or national heart/healthcare organizations.
Creativity in fund raising is encouraged. Swimmers and supporters can obtain pledges independently. For instance, some swimmers have asked sponsors to donate US$14 on the 14th (Valentine's Day Gift) to their favorite heart charity in honor of a loved one.
An equally important element of the event is public education regarding heart disease, and promoting a heart healthy lifestyle. Getting the medical community involved at all levels is a crucial element to a well balanced program. Local healthcare providers have been valuable partners in supplying educational materials, onsite nutritional counseling, blood pressures readings and cholesterol screenings for event goers.
The 2013 event is being dedicated in memory of Alexander Dale Oen a champian Norwegian swimmer, multiple medalist at European and World Championships, and a silver medalist in the 100m breaststroke at the Beijing Olympics. Tragically, he suffered a fatal heart attack this year at the age of 26. The shocking death of this beloved world-class athlete was reportedly the result of coronary heart disease. He was a genuine hero in Norway, and one of best of our swimming community.