On the final stretch of his continent linking swim, Philippe Croizon, a quadruple amputee, swam from North America to Asia last Friday in torso torturing temperatures.
Donned in two wetsuits and paddle-like prosthetics, the 44-year-old Frenchman braved 8 foot swells, heavy fog and strong currents to swim the four kilometres in around an hour and 20 minutes.
Croizon is no stranger to strong currents, as back in 1994 he attempted to remove a TV antenna from a roof before receiving 20,000 volts of electricity through his body. As a result, all four of his limbs had to be removed.
However, far from reclining into the somber corners of the world, Croizon was inspired by the accident to swim across the oceans that separate each of the world’s continents.
In the last three months he has swum from Papua New Guinea to Indonesia, linking Oceania with Asia, across the Red Sea, linking Africa to Asia, and across the Strait of Gibraltar, linking Europe to Africa.
On Friday’s fog-ridden slog through Siberian temperatures, Croizon said “this was the hardest swim of my life, with a water temperature of four degrees Celsius and strong currents.”
Croizon and his friend and swimming partner Arnaud Chassery arrived on Alaska’s Little Diomede Island in a fishing boat last Sunday, but were held up for four days because of powerful storms and 140 km/h winds.
The swim, which ended on Russia’s Big Diomede Island, completes his continental trunk tussling target, with Croizon now saying he’ll head to London to commentate for the Paralympics.
The editors at The Fox Gazette would like to thank Mr Croizon, a quadruple amputee, for reminding us that the gardens of adventure need not be restricted to the appendaged, or the more fortunate members of society.
As blind and deaf American writer Hellen Keller once said, “life is either a daring adventure or nothing”.