Programs and Events
"2 Continents 1 Race" Bospohorus Cross-continental Race
July 14-15, 2012
This year, the U.S. Consulate General Istanbul's swim team, led by Ambassador Francis J. Ricciardone and Consul General Scott F. Kilner joined the Bosphorous Swim to achieve their "Personal Best". Both the Ambassador and the Consul General said the wind and tide were both fine for swimming. The swim team of 17 from the U.S. Embassy and Consulate all conveyed the same message: “to swim in the Bosphorus was an experience of a lifetime.”
On the morning of 15th of July, thousands of swimmers began the race from one the famous stops of the Bosphorus in Kalıca and started swimming towards Kuruçeşme in Europe throughout the race-course of 6.5km’s. The National Olympic Committee of Turkey which sets its objectives in the framework of spreading the awareness and morality of sports to large masses; continues to work nonstop without differentiating between people or gender and involving those from every segment of society in order to ensure that sports become a part of their lives.
Mark Spitz a retired American swimmer, visited Istanbul to watch the race. He won seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, an achievement only surpassed Michael Phelps who won eight golds at the 2008 Olympics. Between 1968 and 1972, Spitz won nine Olympic golds plus a silver and a bronze, five Pan American golds, 31 US Amateur Athletic Union titles and eight US National Collegiate Athletic Association titles. During those years, he set 33 world records. He was the most successful athlete at the 1972 Summer Olympics. He was named World Swimmer of the Year in 1969, 1971 and 1972.
With its national and international brand value, the Bosphorus Cross-continental Races are an event that will bring together all people who are devoted to swimming; strengthen their voices on a common cause and enable it to reach further. Together with the number of athletes that increase each year, public awareness is gaining momentum while the Olympic spirit is growing larger to embrace everyone and the energy of the races spreads from the Bosphorus to the World.
For 24 years, thousands of athletes from around the world and Turkey have been getting together in Istanbul for friendship, to compete, to challenge and discover their limits. The pleasure of making swimming or rowing from Asia to Europe, to experience the exquisite beauties of the Bosphorusl and witnessing the passion of the fans all combine to create this unique event.
The Bosphorus Cross-continental Races are organized under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee under large social and corporate support. Thanks to the increasing interest year by year, this adventure which began with the participation of 4 female and 64 male athletes in 1989, has grown to become an important part of the Turkish sports tradition.