Joel Armas

Last updated
Joel Armas
Born (1973-09-24) September 24, 1973 (age 45)
Santa Cruz del Norte, Cuba

Joel Armas y Hernandez (born September 24, 1973 in Santa Cruz del Norte, Cuba) is the U.S. record holder in finswimming.

Santa Cruz del Norte Municipality in Mayabeque, Cuba

Santa Cruz del Norte is a town and municipality in the Mayabeque Province of Cuba. Before 2011 it was part of La Habana Province. It is located on the north shore, between the cities of Havana and Matanzas, at the mouth of the Santa Cruz River.

Cuba Country in the Caribbean

Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet. It is east of the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is the largest city and capital; other major cities include Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey. The area of the Republic of Cuba is 110,860 square kilometres (42,800 sq mi). The island of Cuba is the largest island in Cuba and in the Caribbean, with an area of 105,006 square kilometres (40,543 sq mi), and the second-most populous after Hispaniola, with over 11 million inhabitants.

Finswimming Competitive watersport using swimfins for propulsion

Finswimming is an underwater sport consisting of four techniques involving swimming with the use of fins either on the water's surface using a snorkel with either monofins or bifins or underwater with monofin either by holding one's breath or using open circuit scuba diving equipment. Events exist over distances similar to swimming competitions for both swimming pool and open water venues. Competition at world and continental level is organised by the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS). The sport's first world championship was held in 1976. It also has been featured at the World Games as a trend sport since 1981 and was demonstrated at the 2015 European Games in June 2015.

Armas is the son of Ceren Armas and Maria Hernandez. His father, an athlete who once trained for the Cuban national basketball, successfully left Cuba on boat in 1979. A few months later, he and his mother (a teacher), unsuccessfully tried to leave Cuba. His mother lost her job and he was ostracized at school.

He later swam competitively at school meets. When he was 8 years old when he won the 25-meter backstroke at a regional competition. When he was 10 years old he was sent to train at the Cuban National Aquatic School in Havana. In 1990, he joined the national team to train for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. He later dropped out of the national team when he was told he would not be allowed to leave the country to compete. On August 21, 1994, he got on a raft and left Cuba. After 14 hours at sea he was picked up by the U.S. Coast Guard and taken to the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo. He remained there for 18 months.

1992 Summer Olympics Games of the XXV Olympiad, held in Barcelona in 1992

The 1992 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event celebrated in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain from July 25 to August 9, 1992.

Barcelona City and municipality in Catalonia, Spain

Barcelona is a city in Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits, its urban area extends to numerous neighbouring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is home to around 4.8 million people, making it the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres high.

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

In 1996, Armas worked as a lifeguard and played baseball for Miami-Dade Community College. He later studied at Florida Memorial College and at Florida International University. In 2002, he appeared on the TV show Sabado Gigante on Univision and won a Ford Focus. He then became a firefighter-paramedic for the Broward County Sheriff’s Department. He later met Cayetano Garcia (1958- ), the U.S. monofin champ, who gave him his first monofin and later coached him.

Lifeguard profession

A lifeguard is a rescuer who supervises the safety and rescue of swimmers, surfers, and other water sports participants such as in a swimming pool, water park, spa, beach or river. Lifeguards are strong swimmers and trained in CPR/AED first aid, certified in water rescue using a variety of aids and equipment depending on requirements of their particular venue. In some areas, lifeguards are part of the emergency services system to incidents and in some communities,lifeguards may function as the primary EMS provider.

Florida International University university

Florida International University (FIU) is a metropolitan public research university in Greater Miami, Florida. FIU has two major campuses in Miami-Dade County, with its main campus in University Park. Florida International University is classified as a research university with highest research activity by the Carnegie Foundation and a research university by the Florida Legislature.

Univision US-based Spanish-language TV channel

Univision is an American Spanish-language free-to-air television network that is owned by Univision Communications. It is the country's largest provider of Spanish-language content, followed by American competitor Telemundo. The network's programming is aimed at Hispanic Americans and includes telenovelas and other drama series, sports, sitcoms, reality and variety series, news programming, and imported Spanish-language feature films. Univision is headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, and has its major studios, production facilities, and business operations based in Doral, Florida.

He placed 17th in his first world competition at the 2nd CMAS World Cup in Ravenna, Italy and broke Mr. Garcia’s U.S. finswimming record. In 2007, he placed 9th in Hungary at the Finswimming World Cup.

Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques International organisation for underwater activities in sport and science, and recreational diver training and certification

Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) is an international federation that represents underwater activities in underwater sport and underwater sciences, and oversees an international system of recreational snorkel and scuba diver training and recognition. It is also known by its English name, the World Underwater Federation, and its Spanish name, Confederacion Mundial De Actividades Subacuaticas. Its foundation in Monaco during January 1959 makes it one of the world's oldest underwater diving organisations.

Ravenna Comune in Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. It was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until that empire collapsed in 476. It then served as the capital of the Ostrogothic Kingdom until it was re-conquered in 540 by the Byzantine Empire. Afterwards, the city formed the centre of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna until the invasion of the Lombards in 751, after which it became the seat of the Kingdom of the Lombards.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe.

See also

Finswimming in the United States (USA) is practised at both regional and national level via a network of associations and other bodies affiliated to the national governing body, USA Finswimming which is part of the Underwater Society of America (USOA).

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Monofin Single blade swimfin attached to both feet

A monofin is a type of swimfin typically used in underwater sports such as finswimming, free-diving and underwater orienteering. It consists of a single or linked surfaces attached to both of the diver's feet. The diver's appearance is then reminiscent of a mermaid or merman.

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Underwater sports is a group of competitive sports using one or a combination of the following underwater diving techniques - breath-hold, snorkelling or scuba including the use of equipment such as diving masks and fins. These sports are conducted in the natural environment at sites such as open water and sheltered or confined water such as lakes and in artificial aquatic environments such as swimming pools. Underwater sports include the following - aquathlon, finswimming, freediving, spearfishing, sport diving, underwater football, underwater hockey, underwater ice hockey, underwater orienteering, underwater photography, underwater rugby, underwater target shooting and underwater video.

The Texas Finswimming Association (TFA) is the official governing body for competitive and recreational finswimming in Texas. The TFA consists of competitive teams, high schools, colleges, individual athletes, supporters, and others who are interested in advancing the sport of finswimming in the Lone Star State.

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