Adherbal de Oliveira I Canal da Mancha September 2015 from Coruja Filmes on Vimeo. With a massive upward trajectory of open water swimming in Brazil, especially in the build-up to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, it is not surprising that more and more Brazilians are venturing overseas to do all kinds of open water swims.

This year, four Brazilian swimmers completed the English Channel: Hamilton Jorge de Azevedo (15 hours 33 minutes), Samir Barel (10 hours 14 minutes), Alexandre Kirilos (13 hours 18 minutes), and Adherbal de Oliveira (8 hours 49 minutes).

Adherbal de Oliveira‘s crossing broke the Brazilian record of Ana Mesquita of 9 hours 40 minutes and the overall South American record set by Claudio Plit in 8 hours 58 minutes in 1981.

Adherbal de Oliveira‘s swim was faster than 23 Brazilians who have crossed the English Channel since 1958 when Abilio Couto first crossed. Adherbal was not only the first swimmer from Rio de Janeiro, but the 45-year-old was also the first military swimmer to complete a crossing.

He swam as a personal project to show his four daughters (Bruna, Gabriela, Júlia and Manuela) the importance of fighting in life by doing what really matters. “What really matters? Keep building up, always,” he explained. “Do not allow yourself to feel defeated even when the picture is bad or when it seems there is no way out. The worst thing that can happen to a person is to give up trying. Avoid this situation and return to feel what is important in one’s life; that is what really matters. At such times, a challenge [like the English Channel] can help you make that transition.”

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association