Courtesy of Marten van der Weijden, Netherlands.
After swimming 163 km over 55 hours in his native Netherlands, 2008 Olympic 10K marathon swim champion Marten van der Weijden* has generated over €3.5 million euros (US$4,050,060) in his 11 city charity swim – to date, this represents the greatest amount of proceeds from a single charity open water swim in history.
Van der Weijden said after the well-covered swim where he was forced to get out, “I do not feel great, but better than yesterday. I’ve also recovered a bit.”
The former leukemia survivor – the only leukemia survivor to win an Olympic medal – raised the money for research into cancer, a disease that he suffered himself where he once lost half his body weight.
Van der Weijden’s feet show a tremendous wet-wrinkling response after he was pulled out due to the prolonged time he spent in the water.
“With 250 meters to go, Van der Weijden was still at least 3 body lengths behind David Davies at the 2008 Beijing Olympics 10 km marathon swim along the final homestretch. I believe his tremendous finish represents the greatest upset and most moving and unlikely finish of all events throughout modern-day Olympic history,” recalls Steven Munatones. “He is a champion like no other – both during his Olympic career and his post-Olympic career.”
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