Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer Daniel “Carpayo” Carpio of Peru lived a long, eventful life.

Carpayo as he was known was 99 years old at the time of his death. He became the first South American to cross the English Channel in 1947 with a time of 14 hours 46 minutes and competed in the famous Daily Mail race across the English Channel in 1961 when he finished in 13 hours 50 minutes.

He also attempted 5 crossings of the Strait of Gibraltar: two were unsuccessful at the ages of 77 and 83 years, but three were successful in 1948, 1977 and 1988 at the age of 78. He also crossed the River Plate in 1945 – and in 1977 and 1982 when he was 72 years old.

As a pool swimmer, he participated in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, the 1936 Berlin Olympics and the 1948 London Olympics. He held national titles in Chile and Argentina while his legacy lives on at the National Swimming Pool in Lima, Peru which is named after him.

In 1947, he was awarded the Order of the Sun as a Great Master by the President of Peru and the Recognition Award by the Peruvian Institute of Sports.

His epitaph simply reads “Daniel Carpio died. A swimmer who crossed the English Channel.

Photo from the ANDINA archives.

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