Swim Swam | My Great Cuban Swimming Adventure
I recently had an amazing opportunity to travel to Cuba with nine other swimmers, two coaches and four friends and family members from my open water swim club, to compete in the XI Masters Internacional de Natación pool and open water swim competitions. We would be the first U.S. swim club to compete in Cuba as part of a four-day event hosted in Varadero, Cuba by the Federación Cubana de Natación (Cuban Swimming Federation). Among the competing teams, nine were from Cuba and one was from Italy. Our team, Water World Swim of San Francisco, made eleven. Competitors ranged in age from 23 to 97, and included such world-class athletes as 2008 Cuban female Olympian, Heysi Villarreal – who of course, was in my age group – and Italian male professional marathon swimmers Edoardo Stochino, Simone Ercoli and Rodolfo Valenti. Events during the three days of pool competition consisted of 50s and 100s of all strokes, including 100 meter Individual Medley, as well as female, male and mixed 100 meter Freestyle and 100 meter Medley relays. A three-kilometer open water swim took place on the fourth day at Varadero Beach.
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