French Amputee Philippe Croizon Completes Swimming Challenge

By Alan Dymock

With the Paralympic Games right around the corner and with swimmers making regular headlines after the high-profile meet at the Olympic Games, it seemed like the perfect time to show you an inspirational video.

This is French swimmer Philippe Croizon. In 1994 he lost his limbs in an electrical accident, at the age of 26. Now, at the age 44, Croizon has completed one of the most harrowing and physically taxing swims imaginable.

In this video he is swimming the Bering Strait between Russia’s easternmost point of Big Diomede Island, its maritime border, and Alaska’s Little Diomede Island. It is a distance of approximately 2.5 miles.

Croizon completed this task as part of his tour, where he linked all five continents by swimming in a matter of months, alongside long-distance swimmer Arnaud Chassery. In May, he swam from Papua New Guinea to Indonesia. In June he swam the Gulf of Aqaba from Jordan to Egypt. He swam between Gibraltar and Morocco in July, and on Friday he swam the Bering Strait.

Swimming with paddle-like artificial limbs, Croizon hoped to demonstrate that having a handicap does not have to be limiting to a person’s life, and with the help of Handicap International, pulled off his ambitious challenge. After overcoming unexpected swells and freezing temperatures the Frenchman was helped into a boat and informed that he had done it.

Now he hopes to make get to London where he will work as a commentator for both radio and television during the Paralympics.

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