On September 19th, 2010, Philippe Croizon, made history by becoming the first quadruple amputee to swim across the 21-mile long English Channel. Now, the French resident is taking on an even bigger challenge - Symbolically link the world's five continents by swimming across the series of narrow straits that separates them.
The 44-year old and his training partner Arnaud Chassery, plan to depart from France on May 6th and begin by swimming from Papua New Guinea to Indonesia (symbolically linking Oceania and Asia). In the summer, they will go across the Red Sea between Jordan and Eqypt (Asia to Africa). Then it will be the Strait of Gibraltar, the 8.9 mile strip that connects Africa to Europe and finally, in the middle of August, the Bering Strait that separates Siberia and Alaska (Asia to America).
By the end of the journey, which Philippe will undertake using prosthetic limbs and fins, he and Arnaud Chassery will have swam over 52 miles and spent at least 45 hours in the water.
A former metalworker, Mr. Croizon had to have both his arms and legs amputated in 1994, when he was just 26, after being struck by a 20,000 volt power line, whilst trying to dismantle a television antenna off his roof.
While recovering in hospital, he watched a documentary about swimming across the English Channel and decided he had to try do that. Realizing he needed some help, he contacted fellow Frenchman, Arnaud Chassery who had already done the arduous swim. Since then, the two have become friends, not to mention formidable swim partners that take on challenges most able-bodied people are afraid to.
Resources: Telegraph.co.uk, nydailynews.com, huffingtonpost.com