Courtesy of International Swimming Hall of Fame, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Jon Erikson started his swimming career at the age of 5 with a hardened mindset and inherent DNA like few others.
His father, Ted Erikson, set the two-way crossing record in the English Channel in 1965 in 30 hours 3 minutes on his third attempt. His record stood for 10 years until it was broken by Jon, his son.
Jon first swam the English Channel in 11 hours 23 minutes in 1969 at the age of 14.
He eventually built up to two-way crossings and did the first historic three-way crossing in 1981 with a 38 hour 27 minute effort. He recalled, “When I finished, I felt tremendous. My dream of accomplishing something that had never been done before by another human being made the culmination of all my years of my swimming — since the age of 5 — worthwhile and uniquely meaningful.”
He, Alison Streeter, Philip Rush and Chloë McCardel remain the only swimmers to complete a 3-way English Channel crossing.
He unexpectedly passed away in July 2014 in Boca Raton, Florida.
His induction speech at the International Swimming Hall of Fame and a photo of Jon with his bearded father Ted are shown above.
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