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Triumph on the Amazon

April 10, 2007
Martin Strel, 52, swims rivers for a living.

His motto: I swim for peace, friendship and clean water.

The marathon swimmer has swum the length of the Danube in Europe, the Mississippi in the United States, the Parana river in Argentina and the Yangtze in China, apart from the rivers in his native Slovenia and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for these achievements.

On April 7, Strel miraculously completed a 66-day gruelling swim down a 5,268 km segment of the piranha and shark-ridden, 6,400 km-long Amazon, which according to Wikipedia is greater than the distance across the Atlantic Ocean. He is the first person to achieve this feat.

He began his swim -- after a year and half of preparation -- on February 1 at Atalaya in the jungles of Peru. Swimming an average of 80 to 85 km a day he reached Belem, Brazil at the mouth of the Amazon four days earlier than he planned, exhausted, tired but victorious.

Photographs courtesy: Martin Strel's Amazon Swim Expedition
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