NYC Swim is the premier organizer of swimming events in the waters around New York City. Since 1993, its events have attracted well over 15,000 participants in more than 165 swimming races, thus helping to revive a local aquatic tradition that had been abandoned for almost a century. The mission of the organization is three-fold: hosting world-class open water events situated around New York City's most recognizable landmarks; supporting charities like Swim Free that aim to improve the health and well-being of children and adults through swimming; and creating stakeholders with a vested interest in the local waters.
Swimming the waterways of New York City is a tradition dating back to the 1800s. In the mid- to late 1920s, the swim around Manhattan grew in stature and national prominence. However, by the early 1990s, interest in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (MIMS) was ebbing, as was local swimming generally. Morty Berger, a two-time solo MIMS swimmer, realized that birth of MIMS could be linked to revitalization of open water swimming in the New York region as a whole. In 1993, a dozen swimmers and a band of volunteers opened the modern chapter of MIMS with great fanfare, as the event was featured on the cover of The New York Times.
Today, the band of volunteers has grown into a small staff backed by an army of dedicated volunteers – some of whom can trace their involvement with the organization back to those early days in the 90s. The list of NYC Swim events has also grown to 11 annual events built around some of New York’s most recognizable landmarks, such as the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. Professional and recreational swimmers from New York and around the world are able to participate in races ranging from 1 kilometer to 28.5 miles and experience for themselves the vastly cleaner waters of the Hudson, East, and Harlem Rivers. As the organization heads into the future, the New York City skyline is the only limit in sight.