Irving Davids/Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award

2011 Steven Munatones


Not only has Steven Munatones been involved in open water swimming for over 30 years as a coach, administrator and technician, but he has also competed and participated in this, the world’s oldest of all swimming events – swimming in the open water. In 1982, he was the world long distance swimming champion for the 25K. He did five unprecedented swims of over 30 kilometers in Asia and several professional marathon swims in Canada, Mexico and USA.


Steven has been the USA National Open Water Swimming Team Coach at the 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007 World Open Water Championships and the 2006, 2007 and 2009 National Team Camps.


He has brought open water swimming to life on multiple websites with interesting topics including Open Water Swimming Dictionary, Half Century Club, Swim Your Age, Ocean’s Seven, Open Water Wednesday, Open Water Almanac, Openwaterpedia, World’s Top 100 Swims, America’s Top 50 Swims, World Swimming Majors and World Open Water Swimming Rankings. He created the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame website (, The Daily News of Open Water Swimming (, and In his passionate desire to showcase the sport and its enthusiasts of every age, ability and background, he is conducting the Global Open Water Swimming Conference in New York City in June of 2011 during the Around Manhattan Island Swim.


He served as the NBC Olympic 10K Marathon Swimming commentator at the 2008 Olympic Games and has written about the sport for NBC, Universal Sports, National Public Radio, USA Today, National Geographic, Swimming World Magazine, Triathlon Magazine, Australia Swimming, Competitor Magazine, U.S. Masters Swimming SWIMMER Magazine and for many years wrote a monthly column on open water swimming for Swimming World Magazine. He has traveled to Brazil, Greece, Japan, China, Cayman Islands, Mexico, Canada, Fiji, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Italy, Australia, Switzerland and all across the USA to cover, organize and promote open water swimming and its athletes.


Steven is the author of Open Water Swimming, published by Human Kinetics, a guide to prepare logistically, physically, and mentally for open water swims of all distances.


Steven is an inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and currently serves on its Board of Directors. He is a representative on the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee and a Technical Swimming Delegate for the Special Olympics 2011 World Games and an advisor to races in Brazil, Greece, Mexico, Japan, Cayman Islands and the USA. He has served as race director for Waikiki Roughwater Swim, USA Swimming National Championships and Pan Pacific Championships.

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