Saturday, July 14, 2012

An Heroic Swim to Morocco

In what can only be described as a courageous sporting achievement, Philippe Croizon has swum across the Straits of Gibralter. Many people swim to Morocco from Spain, but what makes Croizon's swim special is that he is quadruple amputee.

Croizon successfully swam to Morocco on Thursday as part of an effort to swim between all the world's continents. The French citizen, swims with the aid of prosthetic flippers attached to his leg stumps and uses a snorkel to breathe through. He made the 14 kilometre (9 mile) crossing from Tarifa, Spain, in just over five hours with a friend, Arnaud Chassery.

Philippe Croizon, who lost his arms and legs in an electrical accident, has already swum the English Channel as well as between Indonesia and Papua-New Guinea, and between Asia and Africa in the Gulf of Aqaba.

Photograph by: El Yaakoubi Aziz,

Croizon said upon his arrival near the city of Tangiers that he is trying to link the continents of the world with his swimming to show "we are all together on the same planet."

"We have proven that an able-bodied person and a handicapped person can link the five continents together by swimming. We've proven that we are all the same, that there are no differences, whatever the politics, the skin color, the religion or the handicap," Croizon said.

The swimmer's arms and legs were amputated after he suffered an electric shock in 1994 as he stood on a ladder adjusting his television antenna, which touched a power line.

Croizon was greeted by friends and well-wishers, as well as his mother Monique Croizon, and they celebrated by waving French and Moroccan flags on the picturesque beach.

"The crossing was quite difficult. We had to swim more than I'm used to. I'm used to long distances but that was a really long distance. There were strong currents," he said. "My back was hurting for a while, but I really wanted this and we've completed the third of our swims."

Croizon plans a swim across a section of the Bering Straits, which although a shorter distance, is made harder by the near freezing water temperature. He hopes to make that crossing next month, depending on the weather and sea conditions.

He added that after crossing the Bering Straits, he will be received by President Barack Obama.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Je suis admiratif devant tant de ténacité, de volonté et de courage!