Sports Law • Risk Management

water safety

NYC Triathlon and Open Water Swims: A Sport of Extreme Sorts

Today as I was swimming laps, I experienced fluid buildup in my lungs. The fluid made it hard to catch my breath, but my stubbornness made it even more difficult to stop swimming before I was done with my set. Not being able to breathe, however, induced a bit of panic, which increased when I had a flash that the lifeguard, who had early been distracted flirting with a guy on the pool deck, might not be paying enough attention to me should I need rescued. At that moment, I recognized that I was responsible for my well-being and that I should not fully trust that someone else would save me, even if it was that person’s job to do so. With that acknowledgement, I stopped swimming until my throat cleared enough to finish my set. This experience left me contemplating about the recent deaths that occurred during the swim segment of the New York City (NYC) Triathlon and what the athletes may have experienced during the race.

August 16, 2010: Triathlon Risk Management: Part I---Swimming

Triathlon race directors must necessarily put a tremendous amount of effort in risk management in planning a triathlon. By the same token, each triathlete should have his or her own risk management plan with every training ride, swim or run and every race. Afterall, it is the athlete that has to endure the outcome of any injury or accident, which will certainly impact his or her ability to continue training and racing. This is part 1 of a series of blogs on triathlon risk management. The following are some guidelines for triathletes who wish to manage their risk in training and competing in the swim portion of the event.