Swim Miami is an open-water swimming event held annually in south Florida. The most recent event took place on May 7, 2017. Today the event is owned and operated by the H2O’s Foundation, a foundation dedicated to eradicating drowning in south Florida. The swim also helps to develop open-water swimming as an Olympic-style sport in Florida.
The original Swim Miami began in 1989 by Jimmy Woodman, founder of Active.com, in conjunction with Florida Sports Magazine and continued successfully through 1998. In 2005, Miami Sports International, a subsidiary of Swim Gym Aquatics, led by four-year University of Florida swimming captain Jonathan Strauss, then restored the event and adapted it to the future of open water swimming.
The original idea and concepts for Swim Miami came about due to a demand to bring open-water swimming to the forefront of aquatic sports with intentions of developing it into an Olympic sport. It was also created as a way for swimmers to give back to the sport that was able to give them a life of health and fitness.
Swim Miami’s growth and popularity can largely be accredited to its focus on Olympic-style swimming and its elite swim field. Past Olympians and professionals to swim in the event have included Gary Hall, Jr., Milorad Čavić, George Bovell, Ricardo Monasterio, Anthony Ervin, Ed Moses, Nathan Adrian, Robert Strauss, and Tiffany Cohen.
Swim Miami takes place in April annually. Originally staged at the Miami Rowing Club in Key Biscayne, FL, the event moved to the Miami Yacht Club on Watson Island (Miami) in 2011. Swim Miami currently consists of four swims: a ten-kilometer swim, a five-kilometer swim, the Miami Mile, and an eight-hundred meter swim. In 2017, the event returned to its original location at the Miami Rowing Club.
Due to strong popular branding of both the swim and its location, the event is well patronized by the general public, attracting upwards of 2,000 combined participants and spectators in the four race categories.
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