Published on November 25th, 20121
Legend of Martin Strel. Most impressive swimmer in the world
There is really a unique man on Earth. It is so far the only human who wanted to swim along all major rivers of the planet. And largely succeeded. He has an eccentric character, but no intent on media attention or celebrity. Quite the contrary, is a man of rare modesty. The impressive achievements have inner motivation such as an admirable love of Nature, and ultimately to life. So Martin Strel managed to mark his spirit of daring and unprecedented ecological actions. Today, he prepares with love new swimming expeditions along the great rivers of the world.
A marathon of water
Already legendary Martin Strel is known for his works worthy of the Guinness World Records. This is because in addition to being a simple Slovenian, River Man, as it is called with good reason, he is the only person in the world who managed to swim from source to the mouth, some of the largest and most impressive rivers of the world like Amazon, Parana, Mississippi, the Danube and the Yangtze.
In addition to these incredible facts about Martin Strel has approved four other records in the Guinness Book for continuous swimming along water courses.
Thus, he became one of the leading swimmers in history, even though his name has nothing to do with the Olympics or world championships swimming.
In fact, so far no Olympic or world champion ever ventured to swim even during the course of a major river in the world, as did Martin Strel, which on October 1 this year, just turned 58 years.
Born in Mokronog, Slovenia, taught himself to swim at the age of 6 years, while playing in the waters bathe in a small river near the parental home.
Running waters would prove to be extremely strong. So strong that in 1978, Martin Strel deals exclusively with what was to become the main purpose of its existence - swimming along the great rivers of the world. Surprisingly or not, his second great love is the Guitar.
Man swims rivers
The first large-scale adventure undertaken by Martin took place in 1994, when he swam for 55 hours and 11 minutes, the distance of 162.5 kilometers. the Adriatic Sea, between Lignano and Ravenna.
Three years later, daredevil waves became the first man to swim the Mediterranean, between Europe and Africa. The 78 km separating the southernmost point of Sicily to Tunisia were crossed in 29 hours, 36 minutes and 47 seconds by a Strela Marin in full form. During this time, Slovenia has been supervised by a team of seven official delegates from FINA (International Swimming Federation).
The year 2000 was one in which Martin entered the pages of Guinness Book of Records for swimming the Danube crossing from springs in the Delta. This incredible performance lasted 58 days.
A year later waves hero decided to lay down a new record. He then managed to swim non-stop along the Danube on the distance of 504.5 kilometers. Titanic and dangerous attempt only lasted less than 84 hours and 10 minutes. Martin dethroned as the Argentinean Ricardo Hoffman, who previously had managed to swim without a break on the Danube, the distance of 481 kilometers in 84 hours and 37 minutes.
2002 Martin earned one of the biggest achievements of his career. Slovenia managed to swim along the river course Missisippi.
For 68 days, Martin Strel went through ten U.S. states on whose territory spans the river. The project was entitled Eye to Eye, and Martin was to be the first man to swim the Missisippi managed from source to estuary. Obviously, again entered the Guinness World Records. Martin has established this unparalleled victory of peace, friendship and campaigns to protect watercourses. The event was heavily covered by the international media and Americans Martin won sympathy after achieving dedicated to the memory of all victims of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.
River with the highest flow of water in the world has proven to be the most dangerous adventure of his partner Martin. The biggest fear of meeting its target of bull sharks (Charcharhinus leucas) extremely dangerous species to humans, and can be found in freshwater, not just in the oceans. These sharks are used to enter the search prey and upstream the Amazon, their presence being documented even near Iquitos, Peru. Although AEST, are more often found in the Amazon estuary.
There were very dangerous small candiru fish, fish that are true vampires, feared for their habit of entering the urethra especially in people who swim in waters where they live. Once entered the urethra, candiru is fixed there by means of specialized spines after that feeds on the blood of the victim. Hapless victims who claim that pain is atrocious, and the feeling is indescribable.
To avoid such a fish parasite to reach uninvited guest in his body, Martin has worn throughout his Amazonian aquatic marathon, swimming suit especially made from material that can safely urinate, then drainage material allowing urine without allowing water or feared candiru (terrible fish especially when they urinate detect victims in the water, and are so small that they can penetrate along the urethra almost without feeling).
Sister of the Equator relentlessly proved another powerful enemy, and besides piranhas and candiru, Martin and his team to be careful and anacondas, poisonous snakes (and I’m not at all scarce in Amazonia), spiders, caimans and jaguars. In periods of respite, swimmer enjoy cheerful and friendly company freshwater dolphin. Strel argues that in some critical moments, dolphins went to the point where they saved his life protecting it from bull sharks.
After completing the marathon Amazon, Strel said that military service performed during the recent wars in the former Yugoslavia proved to be the most efficiently form of training, soldierly mode server serves as an excellent mental workout, not just physically.
However Amazon has proven to be a very tough opponent. Martin suffered from dysentery, and his stomach had a real unwanted colony of amoebae and intestinal worms. All members of his team were close to being attacked and robbed by armed gangs. This situation proved to be so dangerous that the late expedition, Martin’s team had to be constantly guarded by seven armed guards.
If before entering the waters of the Amazon headwaters, Martin weighed 115 kilograms to of its 1.80 cm. height, when he reached the mouth of the mighty river, our man weighing 94 kg. But the situation was more serious. Martin called for urgent admission to hospital because his blood pressure was so high as to risk a heart attack. But everything ended well, Amazon has proved a total opponent.
Martin finished the swim after 66 days in Amazon
To withstand swimming sessions, Slovenia must eat daily amount of food that would provide a total of 8000-9000 calories. Therefore, his daily diet consisted of salad, roast chicken, fish, rice, beans, fruits, juices and honey. Not given any aside from alcohol, and tables ending with a bottle of wine or a beer before bed. Most of the team have calculated that Martin swim daily average of 79.8 km, distance that many people would not even be able to travel to work. For 66 days, Martin swam about 10 hours a day to fulfill their wish.
Amazon entire shipment costs have amounted to approximately $ 700,000.
Slovenian glory was to gather laurels through the media that turned overnight into a kind of Captain Planet Balkans. Articles about he were to run in National Geographic, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Maxim Magazine, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, GQ Magazine and many other publications.
Also, not ignored or TV scene, with Slovenian part of programs dedicated to CNN, BBC, ABC, Sky, Fox, Discovery, CCTV 9 China, TV Globo Brazil.