Diana Nyad, The Princess Of Monaco, And Liz Fry

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.

Liz Fry in action. (Photo/Kevin Hagan for the Daily News of Open Water Swimming)

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 Fry, out of the water.

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!)

4 responses to “Diana Nyad, The Princess Of Monaco, And Liz Fry

  1. Wendy Crowther

    I just entered my vote for Liz.

    When I worked at the Westport Y back in the 1980s and 1990s, Liz put in countless laps in the pool there. I think it was before she started her long distance swimming feats. Though swimming wasn’t my sport, I remember thinking how incredibly smooth and effortless her strokes appeared. She also served on the Y’s Board of Directors during that time – volunteering her hours to help better the Y.

    There’s a Westport…er…actually Southport…connection to Diana Nyad too. During the same 1980s-1990s time period, I was a competitive squash player and did most of my practicing at the Southport Racquet Club. Diana, who also played some squash, turned up at the club one weekend to report on a challenge match being played between two of the country’s top men at the time.

  2. Congratulations Liz!!!
    What you have accomplished is incredible!!
    Keep it going, you set quite the example!!

  3. VETDOC at Compo

    Congratulations Liz, for all you’ve accomplished!

    I have followed your story for some time and you have been a tremendous source of inspiration to me and to others I know.

    Thank you for demonstrating that there are many things that “are possible” to accomplish and that we should not fear attempting what may seem like an insurmountable feat!

  4. The Dude Abides

    There is an X factor in many of these endurance athletes that is unknown to us mere mortals. Nyad’s attempt to swim from Cuba to Key West brought to her to near death but she nearly made it. I am sure Ms. Fry has the same DNA and certainly applaud her efforts, success and unbelieveable determination.