Pan Am Aquatics Open Water Swimming
Pan Am Swimming

Open Water Swimming

Open Water Swimming

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Sport Overview

This is a marathon of aquatics; athletes complete a 10-kilometre course with no pool, no walls to touch, no flip turns, just open water ahead and behind. It is the ultimate challenge of swimmer versus distance.

Canada’s Richard Weinberger won the gold medal in the 10-kilometre race in 2011 in Guadalajara and went on to win Olympic bronze in London in 2012.

The TORONTO 2015 open water swimming competition will take place at the Ontario Place West Channel, where athletes will complete six 1.67-kilometre laps.


History has shown that the sport of aquatics had an early start; Egyptian hieroglyphics discovered from the Stone Age showed people swimming. Around 400 BC, records showed Egyptians and Romans diving off cliffs. It did not become an organized sport, however, until the early 19th century in Great Britain.

At the TORONTO 2015 Games, the sport of aquatics includes the five disciplines of diving, open water swimming, swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo.

How it works

Athletes in this event complete the 10-kilometre course in open water, as opposed to swimming pool lanes, using the freestyle technique.


A float anchored to mark a race course that denotes the course the swimmers must follow.

Feeding station
A boat or structure used by coaches to provide racers with water and fuel.

Lead boat (escort boat)
A boat or similar watercraft that leads the lead pack of swimmers on a race course.

A technique used by racers where they lift their eyes out of the water as they swim in order to navigate the course.

Additional Information

Additional Information