Twelve women have been nominated for the title of “World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.” Sure, it’s a specialized list — but right there, alongside people like Diana Nyad and her Serene Highness the Princess of Monaco, stands Westport’s own Liz Fry.
According to OpenWaterSwimming.com — which runs this much-more-important-than-the-Iowa-cauceses contest — Liz is
a 52-year-old financial services consultant who could not just swim things once in 2011. She first set the double crossing record in the 35-mile Ederle Swim from Manhattan Island to New Jersey – and back – in June.
Finishing in 11 hours and 5 minutes, she set the standard for both men and women, young and old. Elizabeth then got busy directing the 25K Swim Across The Sound before she headed off to the English Channel where she stepped up on her third attempt to complete the two-way crossing of the iconic channel.
With an intense focus where she zones out and swims at an average of 64 strokes per minute, Elizabeth became the oldest person to complete the 42-mile double crossing in 24 hours and 39 minutes, negative-splitting her swim. Not finished yet, she ended her 2011 season with a 13 hour and 25 minute 25-mile crossing from Vermont, USA to Québec, Canada.
Oh, yeah. She’s also competed in 10 marathons. As in, run them on dry land.
According to Reina Sauer, who sent along this info:
Liz is not just a talented, dedicated swimmer, she is an example of human kindness. For example, in the midst of a workout, she will get out and help you. If you need goggles for a race, she will take them off her head and give them to you, even if it compromises her swim (though it won’t). Liz gives to all.
We marvel at Liz’s swimming accomplishments. Who wouldn’t? However, we marvel more at how she stays balanced, humble, and never lets her swims get in the way of being there for others. Somehow Liz fits it all in and you would never know. We love and respect Liz’s giggles, commitment, perseverance and kindness.
The qualifications of the other women don’t matter, because the winner is selected by popular vote. “06880″ urges every reader to support our fellow Westporter.(Besides, Diana Nyad’s won enough awards.)
Voting closes Saturday (December 31), so act quickly — just like Liz does. It’s easy: Click here to vote.
(Not convinced yet? Check out the YouTube video below!)