He has parachuted from an airplane and swum the English Channel, feats made all the more impressive considering that Philippe Croizon lost his arms and legs after an electric shock. Now, Croizon has made plans to swim around the world.
Over the next four months, the 44-year-old Frenchman and long-distance swimmer Arnaud Chassery plan on swimming four straits between five continents. It's only been done once before.
"We will be campaigning to encourage a different attitude to disability, especially in the undeveloped world," Croizon said told reporters at a news conference.
Croizon learned to swim without limbs five years ago, using artificial leg extensions, flippers and his partial upper arms to propel him through the water. In 2010, he completed the English Channel.
Swimming the straits will present additional challenges: Croizon and Chassery will cover about 85 kilometers and spend about 45 hours in the water, facing strong currents in the Strait of Gibraltar and extreme temperatures from about 80 degrees in the Dead Sea to 32 degrees in the Bering Strait.
Their route takes them from France on May 6 to the first leg of their journey, linking Australia and Asia by swimming from Papua New Guinea to Indonesia. Next, they will link Asia and Africa by crossing the Red Sea, then Africa and Europe via the Strait of Gibraltar, and finish by crossing the Bering Strait to America in mid-August.
"We are going to symbolically link the five continents, two little people like us, two little men, we're going to be able to build a bridge between the continents," Sky News quoted Croizon as saying. "That means that we're going to bring them together, which means no one is very far from each other.