Susanne Nielsen is a former professional Danish triathlete and World Champion. As a professional IronMan and swimming coach, she’s been by my side from the very beginning. Basically she’s the one who’s taught me how to swim. Without her I’d still be nothing but clumsy legs and arms struggling for my life in the water. Beside my physical training, Susanne is supporting me mentally, guiding me through my choices and teaching me how to respect my body, my training and my goals – while pushing back my limits. She’s a fantastic woman and an amazing coach.
Eva Hesse, aka Curly Brains, is a journalist and PR agent who’s helping me do the dirty work – give SwimDream76 and Formel76 a public face by inspiring and challenging my decisions. She’s got a billion ideas coming out of her curly head and she’s exactly how I like my business partners most – unconventional but serious, honest and focused, with a wild and witty touch. Eva’s a real professional, but here’s the rub – she’s only swum once in her life… in a heated pool in Cape Verde! So, my ambition is clear. By the end of this summer, I’ll have her swim, all greased up, in Danish open waters by my side. After all, everybody deserves a VIP treat, wouldn’t you say?
Thomas Voller and I have been swimming together since 2012, long before I even considered marathon swimming. Formerly known as my “swimming twin” as we used to finish right after each other in every competition, he’s now got the extra edge on me, and that’s a huge motivating factor in the water. Thomas is my better, disciplined half, always ready to help me and take up new challenges with me. His focus and commitment are my antidote against bad excuses for skipping any swim in the local “fish bowl”. Besides, he’s the man taking all the great pictures and videos of my swims. Yet another skill I envy him!
Camilla Vincentz Teilmann is probably the funniest girl in the whole wide world. She knows how to spice up any situation with a twist of humour and, by doing so, kill the drama before it’s even started. But don’t be mistaken – behind her famous gums is hiding an only-major marathon runner and elegant swimmer who knows how to reach her goals, all proud and smiling. Always busy doing a triathlon in her head, the mother-of-three needs no iron to be a Super Woman. She has it all passed down in her genes from her grandmother! When it comes to my swimming, she’s always ready to keep an eye on me or swim with me and during my crossings, she keenly shoots bunches of square-sized pictures – a smartphone function she mastered before it was even hip!
Uffe David is an indestructible running machine who’s expanded his repertoire to triathlon. We started to swim together in 2012 and we’ve competed together on several occasions, including the memorable Vikingesvøm in stormy conditions in 2013. Uffe is the most down to earth and composed guy I know, with an off-beat sense of humour and a positive outlook. Risky boat traffic, hypothermia or hunger – no doubt I’ll be in safe hands when training my solo swims with Uffe accompanying me in his wetsuit or his kayak.
Britta Jegind is my model and my personal muse. Discipline, commitment, will power and (above all) humbleness – she has it all! Every time we meet for coffee, Britta leaves me inspired, giving a new angle and a broader perspective to my thoughts. When we’re not brainstorming, Britta escorts me in her kayak on my longer swims, steering and feeding me like a professional pilot. On top of that she’s a very gifted dressmaker and she’s sewn amazing running suits and hats for me in the most flamboyant fabrics. She’s definitely the matching piece to my eccentricity!
Martin Kofoed Moneaux is my devoted life partner and my life line. He’s a precious source of inspiration, guidance and unfailing support. He helps me carry the financial and social burden of my endeavours, making sacrifices and putting himself aside, so I can follow my own dream. He’s the one and only, always believing in me, sharing all of my ups and downs. If I ever cross the English Channel, if I ever swim around Manhattan, he’s the one I’ll be doing it for. I’d cross any sea for him, the same way he’d walk through fire for me.
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