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Martin Strel (About this sound listen ) (born 1 October 1954) is a Slovenian long-distance swimmer, best known for swimming the entire length of various rivers. Strel holds successive Guinness World Records for swimming the Danube river, the Mississippi River, the Yangtze River, and the Amazon River.[1] During his swims, he sleeps for 5 hours each day. He prepares himself for a long-distance swim over a year and a half. It usually takes 6 to 7 months for Strel to recover physically. His motto is "swimming for peace, friendship and clean waters." [2]

Contents

Swimming history

Strel's first two river swims were the Krka river (105 km) in his homeland, in 28 hours in 1992, and the boundary Kolpa river (62 kilometres (39 mi)), in 16 hours in 1993. In 2000, he swam the Danube River (2,860 kilometres (1,780 mi)) and achieved the world long distance swimming record (3,004 kilometres (1,867 mi)) in 58 days. In July 2001, he achieved one more world record — 504 kilometres (313 mi) of non-stop swimming in Danube within 84 hours and 10 minutes.

In 2002, he swam the entire Mississippi River (3,885 kilometres (2,414 mi)) in 68 days. In 2003, he swam the Argentine Paraná River (3,998 kilometres (2,484 mi)). On 10 June 2004, Martin started swimming down the Yangtze River (4,003 kilometres (2,487 mi), the longest river in Asia, the third longest in the world) in China. He reached Shanghai in 40 days on 30 July 2004, one day before planned.

Strel swam the Amazon River, commencing on 1 February 2007.[2], finishing 66 days later on April 7, 2007[3] If verified this would be another record-breaking distance of 5,268 kilometres (3,273 mi), longer than the width of the Atlantic Ocean. He had escort boats that poured blood into the river to distract meat-eating fish such as piranhas.[citation needed]

In 2007, the Nile had been proposed as his next river, but Strel said, "I am not going to do the Nile. It's long but not challenging enough, it is just a small creek. The Amazon is much more mighty."[4]

Big River Man

Strel was recently the subject and star of a feature documentary entitled Big River Man directed by the acclaimed art-house director John Maringouin. The film, which won a Best Cinematography prize at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, was critically praised for its extraordinary blend of comedy and drama.[citation needed] The film chronicled Strel's 3300 mile historic swim of the Amazon.

References

External links

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