📅25 October 2012
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By Errol Alegre, Jr.

Benjamin Schulte swims past the crowd in the 2012 London Games. (courtesy photo)

According to the World Open Water Swimming Association, 16-year old local swimmer and 2012 Olympian Benjamin Schulte had just recently been nominated for the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year award. According to the OpenWaterPedia website the award is given to “an individual who best embodies the spirit of open water swimming, possesses the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and has most positively influenced the world of open water swimming during the year.”

Benji Schulte

Schulte was recognized for his perserverence and willingness to compete among the world’s top swimmers in the 10km Marathon Swim of this year’s 2012 London Olympics; an event that had him finishing last behind 24 world-class swimmers in front of thousands of spectators with a time of 2:03:35.1, finishing about 14-minutes behind the gold medal finisher. His World Open Water Swimming Association nomination reads,

Marked with a yellow cap and a the number two on his back, Benji Schulte dove into the waters of his first Olympiad. (courtesy photo)

He was a boy among men, a neophyte against veterans. But the 16-year-old teenager from Guam proved grace under pressure and proudly represented not only his small nation, but also every open water swimmer who has persevered under the less-than-favorable conditions. Benjamin Schulte competed at the 2012 London Olympic Games against men double his age, significantly stronger and much more experienced. Schulte had no chance at winning and quickly fell off the pace in front of a worldwide TV audience, swimming alone in front of 30,000 spectators lining the banks of the Serpentine. But he gave it his all, swimming faster than expected and showing his potential for the next few Olympics. For his grit at never giving anything less than 100%, for his future upside demonstrated on the world’s biggest stage, for his maturity and pride in embodying the Olympic ideal, young Benjamin Schulte is a worthy nominee for the 2012 WOWSA Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.”



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