The World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year honors the woman who (1) best embodies the spirit of open water swimming, (2) possesses the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and (3) has most positively influenced the world of open water swimming during the year.
Her nomination from the World Open Water Swimming Association reads, "Janel Jorgensen McArdle is the manifestation of success.
Intelligent, well-spoken and passionate, the former Olympic butterflyer and record holder has been a champion all her life - and now she is championing the issue of funding research to find a cure for cancer. Through Swim Across America events, her abundant energies and charisma are channeled to support cancer research that can make a difference. Behind the scenes on a daily basis, outside the spotlight of the media, McArdle exudes hard work and dedication in helping organize swims. She is smooth and professional in front of an audience; she is educational and inspirational in front of volunteers; she is unselfish and unpretentious while doing mundane logistic work late at night and early in the morning in the process of organizing 17 open water swims. As the President of Swim Across America, she heads a national organization build upon the backs of thousands of volunteers and donors who have raised over US$42 million for cancer research, prevention and treatment. In a down economy, through her charismatic personality, depth of character and unstinting devotion, she leads an organization that continues to grow and do good year in and year out. For her generosity of spirit, for her talent in bringing people together, for her creativity in generating more donations for a just cause, Janel Jorgensen McArdle is a worthy nominee for the 2012 WOWSA Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year."
The 2012 nominees are (listed in alphabetical order of their first name):
1. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil), World Professional Marathon Champion
2. Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden), Oceans Seven Swimmer
3. Annaleise Carr (Canada), Young Marathon Swimmer
4. Catherine Vogt (USA), Dual Olympic Coach
5. Diana Nyad (USA), Xtreme Dreamer
6. Esther Nuñez Morera (Spain), Professional Marathon Swimming Champion
7. Grace van der Byl (USA), Marathon Record Breaker
8. Janel Jorgensen McArdle (USA), Swim Across America President
9. Julia Washbourne (Hong Kong), Eco-Swimming Aquapreneur
10. Karen Gaffney (USA), Swimming Philanthropist
11. Keri-Anne Payne (Great Britain), British Open Water Icon
12. Pat Gallant-Charette (USA), Channel Swimming Late Bloomer
13. Risztov Éva (Hungary), Olympic Champion
14. Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia), Pioneering Administrator
15. Tina Neill (USA), San Clemente Channel Swimmer
McArdle was a world-class swimmer since high school when she won two gold medals at the Pan American Games. She won the silver medal in the 4x100m medley relay and finished 5th in the 100m butterfly as a 17-year-old at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. As the president of Swim Across America, she has helped raise over US$42 million for cancer research, prevention and treatment through open water and pool swimming events all over the United States.
Jorgensen graduated from Stanford University in 1993 with a degree in psychology. During her career, she held four American records, was a 27-time All American swimmer, won 15 NCAA championship titles, and was inducted in the Stanford Hall of Fame. After college, she spent 12 years working at Oracle where she worked in strategic development and volunteered for Swim Across America before leading it as its president.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source