Orlando Marathon Swimmer Sets Guinness World Record for 24-Hour Swim
Rosen Hotels & Resorts Sales Professional Works Swimming into Daily Routine
ORLANDO (October 24, 2019) — Orlando resident and hospitality professional Yuko Matsuzaki earned a Guinness World Record when her 24-hour swim ending on Oct. 6 was recognized as the “Longest Continuous Swim in a Counter-Current Pool.”
Pushing through pain and battling mind over matter as she hallucinated sea lions and sea dragons swirling in the tiny pool with her, Matsuzaki, 57, spent a full day and night swimming the World Open Water Swimming Association’s (WOWSA) Ocean Fest in Redondo Beach, Calif.
For the travel sales professional at Rosen Hotels & Resorts in Orlando, the Guinness record is the realization of a dream she’d had since she was a child in Tokyo, pouring over the massive book.
Throughout the 8 a.m., Oct. 5 to 8:01 a.m., Oct. 6 swim, fellow marathon swimmers and another world record holder stood by to cheer her on, and even indulged her visions so as not to confuse her. Despite nearly crippling pain in her arm after 16 hours, Matsuzaki completed the swim of a lifetime with only five minutes break per hour, as permitted by Guinness rules.
Matsuzaki, the only Japanese swimmer inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, has competed in other marathon swims, including a solo swim of more than 33 hours in Orlando’s Lake Cane in September 2008 to benefit the Central Florida YMCA swim programs.
It also was her lifelong love of swimming that ultimately brought her to her position in Japanese sales for Rosen Hotels & Resorts, as well as sponsorships from the independent hotel chain to help support her marathon swim goals.
Harris Rosen, the company’s president and chief operating officer, had noticed she was a constant presence on his own daily swims at the YMCA swim center on International Drive. They struck up a conversation and, eventually, her fluency in Japanese led to her hospitality career.
Matsuzaki swims four to five miles, six days a week at the Rosen YMCA Aquatic Center – renamed last year to honor Rosen’s efforts to save the facility from demolition.
Although she has this new accomplishment and many other marathon swims under her cap, it’s unlikely she will slow down. And with support from other associates in the Rosen family of hotels, she has a strong backing as she continues to push herself in the future.