Danika successfully defends world title
World Champion bog snorkeller Danika Maguire.<<
Belleek's Danika Maguire is the World Bog Snorkelling Champion for the second year in a row. The 17-year-old successfully defended her title at this week's World Championships in Wales, destroying a 172 strong field to win both the Junior and Senior titles.
The 27th World Championships were held in Llanwrtyd Wells, the town where the sport was invented, and Danika travelled to Wales to attempt to repeat her feat of 12 months ago and cover two lengths of a 60 yard bog hole in a quicker time than anyone else.
Using a wetsuit, snorkel and fins, Danika powered her way up the bog hole and back in a time of one minute twenty six seconds, a full eighteen seconds faster than her nearest competitor.
While most people would not welcome the thought of diving into a muddy, cold water hole in the middle of a bog in the pouring rain, it holds no fears for Danika.
"If you weren't used to the cold it might feel bad, but it's a bit like going into the sea," she reckons. "Once you get used to it it's not too bad."
With safe bog holes in scarce supply training for the event requires some ingenuity, and Danika has adapted her training schedule to replicate the horrendous conditions of the Welsh bog.
"I go into the swimming pool at Ballyshannon Leisure Centre to train for it because you can't really train in a bog because of safety," she explained. "You don't really know what a bog hole is going to be like, so it's better to train in the pool. To imitate it you have to put on clothes and tie plastic bags to your feet to weigh you down a bit. You have to have a good streamlined position and try not to cause any drag in the water."
It's hard to know what the other pool users would make of her unusual swimming costume, but while it may look a little unusual, it evidently works.
Danika first got interested in the sport when friends of her mother spotted the unusual sport on a website.
Her mother suggested she give it a go, and while most daughters may have dismissed the idea, Danika reason for embracing Bog Snorkelling is simple, "I'm mad, that's why!"
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 30 Aug 12