What Is the Most Impressive Endurance Swimming Record?
Michael Phelps might hold almost every Olympic swimming record, but there's at least one thing Sarah Thomas has accomplished that would probably leave Phelps all wet. In 2019, the 37-year-old Thomas set a world record by swimming the English Channel four times in a row.
The accomplishment is stunning on its own, but it's made even more remarkable by the fact that the American swimmer had defeated breast cancer only a year earlier. The challenge took Thomas 54 hours, in part because instead of swimming an anticipated 80 miles (129 km), she had to struggle against a strong current that made her distance closer to 130 miles (209 km). During her grueling achievement, Thomas consumed only a protein drink and was stung in the face by a jellyfish at one point.
About the English Channel:
- Weapons from both world wars were dumped in the Channel, were they remain at some of its deepest parts.
- Capt. Matthew Webb was the first person to swim across the channel, in 1875; he was also stung by jellyfish.
- The Channel Tunnel, also known as the Chunnel, contains the longest underwater section of any such tunnel in the world.
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