Welcome to a crazy world!
Human beings are constantly seeking new sensations and new challenges to take on. Swimmers are no exception.
Welcome to a crazy world!
1. Grandad, The Hero of the Open Seas
The extraordinary record for the longest distance ever swum in open water goes, without question, to the Croatian Veljko Rogosic. Nicknamed "the King of cold waters", at the ripe age of 65, he swam no less than 225 kilometres (continuously) in the Adriatic Sea from Grado to Riccione (Italy).
To give you a better idea, that's the equivalent of almost 9000 lengths of a 25-metre pool.
To claim this title, it "only" took him a little over 50 hours of hard graft
Incidentally, he lost 16 kg from start to finish. Drastic diet fans take note!
2. Super Granny
At the age of 65, Australian Sue Oldham became the oldest woman to swim the Channel. A nice little swim of over 17 hours and over 34 km!
Reckless? Not really! "You never know what you are going to come across because there are currents and tides that can take you anywhere," she said, well aware of the dangers of the sea, before adding: "But I will never give up once I have started."
Apparently, where there’s a will there’s always a way. So, no more excuses!
3. Ice Man
In ice cold water, human beings naturally hyperventilate, and their defence mechanism directs blood towards the vital organs, which makes it difficult to control limbs. After a few minutes, the body seizes up and even the best ice swimmers must get out of the water to stay safe and healthy.
An introduction to send shivers down your spine... But apparently not enough to give Christof Wandratsch goosebumps.
This German, who you could call crazy, set the world record for ice water swimming with a 1000-metre swim in 13 minutes, in a pool, let us remind you, just over zero degrees!
After the feat he said: "I’ve swum the Channel, distances of 80 km, so 1 km shouldn’t be very difficult. In fact, it’s the complete opposite and is excruciatingly painful."
Crazy isn’t it?
4. Fresh Water Shark
The only open water swimming event in the Olympic games, the 10 km, is the most difficult event of the sport, but also the most highly prized.
21-year old American Jordan Wilimovsky, the distance World Champion, gave an outstanding performance. He completed this harsh event at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan (Russia), in 1 hour 49 minutes and 48 seconds. It was a landslide victory as he finished 12 seconds ahead of his rivals and earned his ticket for Rio 2016.
5. The Butterfly Effect
The butterfly is a swimming stroke that is particularly demanding physically due to its intensity and the strength that it requires. The main difficulty with butterfly stroke is due to its athletic nature, its demand for muscle strength and flexibility, and above all perfect synchronisation of movements.
Thankfully, with enough training and coordination, the butterfly stroke can be almost as "easy" to swim as other swimming styles.
This is what the Frenchman Sylvain Estadieu has shown us, the first man to swim the Channel with butterfly stroke, in 16 hours and 42 minutes. A remarkable sporting feat, both physically and mentally.
To prepare for this event, he spent over two years training to fine-tune his butterfly technique and his endurance.
According to the champion, this performance could be achieved by anyone:
"It won’t necessarily work the first time or the twelfth time, but everything is a matter of perseverance. If there were to be only one message behind my crossing, it would be this: set yourself a goal and persevere."
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