Some years ago disciples of Sri Chinmoy published a regular news report with inspiring stories from around the world. After a break the series starts again with a great new episode, produced by UItpal Marshall. Have a look and learn more about the German Channel Swimmer Vasanti Niemz, a Self-Transcendence Race in Moscow, a visit to an orphenage in Vietnam and glimpses from the World Harmony Run in Cardiff, England, where also one of Sri Chinmoy’s life-size statues recently has been inaugurated.
It was a nice adventure and a great honour to be invited to the Global Open Water Swimming Conference Sept. 21st/22nd 2012 on the Queen Mary, in Long Beach, California, to accept the IMSHOF award for Sri Chinmoy, who was being honoured posthumously for his decades of inspiration and mentorship in the Open Water and Channel swimming world. I felt like a tiny fish among so many great fish (Diana Nyad, OW legend Greta Anderson, “Big River Man” Martin Strel (who was lifted by Sri Chinmoy in 2004), Penny Lee Dean, Marcos Diaz, Marcy MacDonald, Elisabeth Fry, Dr. Jane Katz (who has trained some of our team`s Channel swimmers in N.Y.), Michael Read (King of the Channel 1997-2005), Ned Denison, Peace Swimmer Nejib Belhedi and many others) – and it was extremely inspiring to meet and listen to so many open water greats – and to speak to them about Sri Chinmoy and the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team. Many guests and speakers enjoyed holding the World Harmony Torch and making a wish for peace, and the Torch was finally invited also into the group photo with all the IMSHOF honourees.
Steven Munatones, main organiser of the Conference (with co-organiser Lexie Kelly on the left and Shelley Taylor-Smith on the right), was awarded the Torch Bearer Award of the World Harmony Run for his tireless efforts in promoting the spirit of self-transcendence and international friendship, inspiring and joining so many people across the world in their various quests in the open water world. The 3rd day of the conference was marked by the “Swim Across America” in the Marine Stadium of Long Beach with races of various distances – and around 350 participants. Training for Gibraltar, I chose the 10 k olympic distance and was quite happy to finish in 3 h 25 – more than a minute before Mike Read, King of the English Channel from 1997-2005 with 33 crossings. Abhejali did 1.5 k in 27 min 26. We were three from our Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team: myself (EC 1985 and 2010, Zurich lakes etc.), Abhejali Bernadova from Czech Republic (English Channel 2011, Manhattan Island Marathon Swim 2012, Zurich lake etc.), Bigalita Egger, L.A. (ultrarunner, several 10 day races in New York at age 70+) and Ahelee (EC solo 2001), a good friend, and we had a great time during, before and after the conference! Thank you everyone for your support – and the IMSHOF for their amazing efforts!
As posted on the Blog “The Daily News of Open Water Swimming” yesterday, “Sri Chinmoy will be honored on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California at the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on September 22nd, 2012. The Honour Administrator, whose given name was Chinmoy Kumar Ghose, passed away in 2007 and was an Indian spiritual teacher, poet, artist and athlete. He inspired many in the endurance world and is the namesake of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team that holds many athletic events worldwide including the International Self-Transcendence Marathon-Schwimmen. He founded the Sri Chinmoy Centre and was uniquely prolific in his work. Over the course of his life, he wrote 1,500 books, 115,000 poems and 20,000 songs, created 200,000 paintings and gave nearly 800 free peace concerts around the world. He advocated self-transcendence by expanding one’s consciousness to conquer the mind’s perceived limitations. In the spirit of self‑transcendence, his students have completed extraordinary feats of endurance. Members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team have swum the English Channel over forty times and are an integral part of the renowned and always popular International Self-Transcendence Marathon-Schwimmen. His legacy will be recognized at the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference and honored the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame dinner on the RMS Queen Mary on September 22nd in Long Beach, California.
German endurance athlete and member of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team Vasanti Niemz will accept his awarded honor on his behalf. As a two-time English Channel swimmer (in 1985 and 2010), Niemz says, “In the spirit of self-transcendence that Sri Chinmoy incorporated himself and a member of his team, it is my pleasure to tell a little of how things developed and about the history of the International Self-Transcendence Marathon-Schwimmen in Lake Zürich.” To learn more and register for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame ceremonies and the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit here.”
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
See also Vasanti’s interview on Meditation and Swimming on vimeo.
Vasanti Niemz who swam the English Channel in 1985 as first German woman, wants to come back for a special Triathlon, inspired by her meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy. The triathlon consists of a channel crossing, followed by a bike ride from Calais to Bingen (560 km) and a run from Bingen to Heidelberg, Germany (ca. 80 km). Vasanti had to postpone her triathlon plans in August because of bad weather conditions. After some last trainings in the lake in Germany she wants to travel to Dover on September 6 or 7 and waits for a slot towards the end of the tide (September 6-11). Hopefully she will be assisted by the “Queen of the Channel”, Alison Streeter. Follow Vasanti’s brave adventure on her blog Channel-Triathlon Dover-Heidelberg.