Maarten Van Der Weijden, A Champion Like No Other
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.” Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association