Monique Wildschut (NED)
2016 Honor Open Water Swimmer
FOR THE RECORD: Dominated Women’s Professional Races from the middle 1980’s to early 1990’s; SIX TIME WORLD PROFESSIONAL MARATHON SWIMMING ASSOCIATION CHAMPION: 1983–1988; English Channel Crossings: 1982, 1984.
Before turning professional, Monique Wildschut was a five-time Dutch Open Water Champion from 1978 through 1982. She was also a Dutch National Champion in the pool, holding records in the 800-meter freestyle and the 400 medley relay.
In her debut on the professional marathon circuit, she was the first woman to cross the finish line in Atlantic City, 1983. She continued her success that year with the fastest time in the crossing of the Traversee Internationale du Lac St. Jean in Canada, and then set a new women’s record at the Lake Magog Swim in Quebec.
Between the years of 1983 and 1988, Monique swam in the cold Canadian waters to the warm, even hot waters of Egypt and Argentina, and was a six-time World Professional Marathon Swimming Association Champion.
As a marathon swimmer, swimming the English Channel is a must if you truly want to be respected. Monique swam the English Channel twice, once in 1982 and again in 1984. Her first swim she began at night. Mental toughness is something Monique believes is critical in marathon swimming. During the Channel swim, she was seasick and the waves were quite rough, but the worst part Monique said was the fact that she was afraid the people on the boat were going to lose her. Still she continued on and finished the channel in a time of 8 hours and 44 minutes, a fast time for those conditions. For the second channel swim, she decided to go for the record of 7 hours and 40 seconds. Unfortunately, the currents do not always cooperate. The currents were stronger than the calculations. Although Monique ended up with the season record for both men and women, she missed her goal by 39 minutes.
Today Monique helps people who have problems with communication , like children and adults with autism, severe speech and language impedements, or concentration and learning disabilities to break through their blockages. She has also started M4ce Mental Mastery for More Medals, helping top athletes with breaking through their mental blockage and to balance their mental state optimally for top rankings. She has also just written a book, Hardships of a Marathon Swimmer.