International Long Distance Swimming Federation

From Openwaterpedia
General Zorkani, an Honor Administrator in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the Honorary Secretary of the International Long Distance Swimming Federation, awarding the winner of the 36 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli in Italy in the 1950s
Press coverage of ILDSF formation

noun - The International Long Distance Swimming Federation (ILDSF or the Fédération Internationale de Natation Longue Distance) was an international governing body of marathon swimming in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. It was established in Paris, France on 19th June 1953. Its initial listing of federation officers included Honorary Presidents (Isaak Helmi) and (Georges Michel); Acting President General (Dr. Sabry), Secretary (General Zorkani), Assistant Secretary (Mostafa Ebeid), Treasurer (A.F. Shafshak), a French Vice President (Vellée) and a Great Britain Vice President (James Jeath). Isaak Helmi was the Honorary President between 1962-1970 when swimmers from Egypt, France, Italy, Kuwait, Sweden, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Argentina, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, England, Canada and Syria participated in the races. It was later incorporated by the International Marathon Swimming Association on 19 July 1991 in Magog, Quebec, Canada together with the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation.

At the same time a new association was formed in France to revitalize marathon swimming in France. River swims in France were a BIG deal before 1910....and steadily lost popularity in the 1930s. Immediately after WW2 the sport was 2-8km races - then in 1953 there was an attempt to get both amateur and professional 10km + races back to previous popularity levels. Georges Michel was a key driver of this new effort in France.

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