Sunday, August 19, 2012


Quadruple amputee competes swim linking world's continents - Telegraph

A French quadruple amputee has completed an icy swim from America to Russia as the final part of a swimming quest to link the world's continents.

Philippe Croizon, 44, who lost his limbs in an electrocution accident 18 years ago, uses special flippers attached to prosthetic limbs to move through the water. He braved strong currents and near-zero temperatures to make the 2.5 mile journey from the island of Little Diomede in Alaska to Big Diomede in eastern Russia. It took him 80 minutes.

"This was the hardest swim of my life, with a water temperature of four degrees Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit) and strong currents," he told the AFP news agency after reaching the Russian island on Friday.

Since May, Mr Croizon, who is accompanied by long-distance swimmer Arnaud Chassery, 35, has swum across three other straits separating the world's continents. The pair swam from Papua New Guinea to Indonesia, crossing from Oceania to Asia; across the Red Sea from Egypt to Jordan, linking Africa and Asia; and from Spain to Morocco, between Europe and Africa.

Mr Croizon had his limbs amputated in 1994 after being struck by an electric shock of more than 20,000 volts as he tried to remove a TV antenna from a roof. He said his accomplishment was a message of encouragement to other disabled people.

"I tell them: 'Everything is possible, everything can be done when you have the will to go beyond yourself'. We're all equal, disabled and non-disabled people on all continents."

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Footnote: Somehow, my niggles don't seem too bad...

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