Courtesy of Salvatore Cimmino, Santa Fe, Argentina.

On the starting line of the annual 57 km Maratón Acuática Internacional Santa Fe – Coronda together with many of the fastest professional marathon swimmers will be Salvatore Cimmino of Italy.

Cimmino is a disabled Italian swimmer who became the first disabled athlete to swim across the Cook Strait and has completed the Para Five. As he fights tirelessly for raising disability awareness and full integration into societies around the world, he has embarked on his A Nuoto nei Mari del Globo (Swimming in the Seas of the Globe).

Cimmino had his right leg amputated at the age of 15 due to cancer and began swimming for therapeutic reasons before he transformed his disability in into a passion for helping others with disabilities.

The 57 km Maratón Acuática Internacional Santa Fe – Coronda will be his first stage of a Swim Marathon Santa Fe to Tigre.

The entire 11-stage swim includes the following planned courses:

1st Stage: Santa Fe to Coronda
2nd Stage: Coronda to Puerto Gaboto
3rd Stage: Puerto Gaboto to San Lorenzo
4th Stage: San Lorenzo to Rosario
5th Stage: Rosario to Arroyo Seco
6th Stage: Arroyo Seco to Villa Constitucion
7th Stage: Villa Constitucion to San Nicolas
8th Stage: San Nicolas to Ramallo
9th Stage: Ramallo to San Pedro
10th Stage: San Pedro to Zarate
11th Stage: Zarate to Tigre

His swim is supported by WU Hongbo, an Under Secretary-General at the United Nations, who wrote to Cimmino in 2013 during his previous swims of the A Nuoto nei Mari del Globo, “I would like to express my sincere appreciation for your extraordinary efforts to raise awareness about the situation of persons with disabilities around the world, especially those in particularly vulnerable situations, living in poverty and lacking access to society.

Your work greatly contributions to the efforts of the United Nations which, since its inception, has promoted the equality and full inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in society and development. The adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2006 has greatly enhanced efforts in this regard.

The full implementation of the Convention can contribute to the creation of a truly inclusive society, in which equal opportunity for all produces benefits to all.

Your exploits and achievements in countries around the world are testament to your commitment to living and sharing the ideals you believe in. Your message, in unison with that of the United Nations, will help change the way society perceives person with disabilities: that they are individuals with great abilities and potential.

As you continue with your inspiring initiatives – swimming along the coastline of le Cinque Terre in July 2013 to promote the right to mobility and in Chiapas in Mexico in October 2013 to highlight the connection between poverty and disability, I want to extend you the United Nations best wishes. We hope that many more will be inspired by your fine example and many more will join the global efforts to advance the rights of persons with disabilities.”

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