Philippe Croizon, Bering Strait Crossing

The Bering Strait Crossing of Philippe Croizon was among the 15 selected nominees for the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.

The World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year is meant to honor efforts or swims - successful or not, short or long - that (1) best embody the spirit of open water swimming, (2) are representative of the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and (3) have most positively influenced the world of open water swimming.

His nomination from the World Open Water Swimming Association reads,

"The mind can become a powerful incentive. What Philippe Croizon dreams, he somehow finds a way to achieve with courage and humility. He organizes, he funds, he trains with the fervor of any able-bodied athlete. After he lost his four limbs due to an electrocution, he shifted into overdrive. His book, J'ai décidé de vivre (I Decided to Live), shares the secrets of his mindset and lifestyle. After swimming 20 km from Papua New Guinea to Indonesia, 19 km from Egypt to Jordan across the Red Sea, 14 km across the Strait of Gibraltar, his intercontinental swims in 2012 culminated in the Bering Strait. In inhospitable conditions, he ventured to swim from Alaska's Little Diomede Island to the Russian maritime border near Big Diomede Island. 75 minutes of the coldest, roughest expedition possible, Croizon showed his handicap was no handicap for a man so motivated. For his belief that nothing is impossible, for his attitude that proves success can occur with drive and commitment, for his ambition to raise awareness of the abilities of handicapped people, Philippe Croizon’s Bering Strait Crossing is a worthy nominee for the 2012 WOWSA Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year."

The nominations are meant to recognize and honor some of the best efforts and swims that the global open water swimming world has seen. Reducing the number of nominees to 15 was extraordinarily difficult due to the incredible efforts and exploits of thousands of women in the sport. Extreme swimmers, disabled swimmers, ice swimmers, marathon swimmers, professional swimmers, administrators, coaches, pilots, and swimmers from all walks of life thoroughly impressed their peers, the public and the media with their open water swimming exploits throughout 2013.

The 2009 recipient of the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year was the Cayman Islands' Andrew Smiley who completed the RCP Tiburon Mile in San Francisco, California. The 2010 recipient was the 202-mile relay swim by the Ventura Deep Six that swam down the coast of California. The 2011 recipient was Tunisia's Nejib Belhedi who swam the 1400K Swim Across Tunisia.

The 2012 WOWSA Performance of the Year nominees are
(listed in alphabetical order of their first name):

1. Alina Warren (Scotland), Swimming Great Glen Way
2. Brenton Williams (South Africa), Deep Blue Flying
3. Dan Projansky (USA), Flying Down The Red River
4. Dutch Ladies First (Netherlands), English Channel Relay Record
5. Frank Flowers (Cayman Islands), Blossoming In The Cayman Islands
6. Haley Anderson (USA), Silver Lining At the Olympics
7. James Pittar (Australia), Shelley Beach Swim
8. Juan Ignacio Martínez Fernández-Villamil (Spain), The Heart of Navia
9. Lexie Kelly (USA), Open Water Swimming Archivist
10. Night Train Swimmers (USA/New Zealand), SF to SB Relay
11. Penny Palfrey (Australia), Marathon Adventurer
12. Philippe Coizon (France), Bering Strait Crossing
13. Saint Martin Island Long Distance Channel Swimming in Bangladesh
14. Stephen Redmond (Ireland), Tsugaru Channel Crossing
15. Trent Grimsey (Australia), English Channel Record

Online voting will take place here at WOWSA until December 31st.

Croizon became the first person without arms and legs to swim across the English Channel (2010) and the Bering Strait (2012). The Frenchman lost his limbs in a freak accident at the age of 26, achieved the feats using specially designed prosthetic flippers. His Bering Strait swim was the last in a series of expeditions across waterways that separate continents, according to Handicap International, the nonprofit organisation that helped organise Croizon's Alaska undertaking.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

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