Martin Strel is the only person in the world with plans to swim through 107 countries in 450 days to spread awareness about water pollution. The 61-year-old swimmer will embark on this endeavor on March 22.
He chose March 22 because it has been designated as World Water Day by the United Nations. It is a way to spread global awareness for clean water.
If Strel accomplishes such a task, he will be the only person to swim this distance (approximately 24,901 miles).
It might seem like an impossible task but for Strel, who is a Guinness world-record swimmer, it’s an easy thing to do because he has accomplished the impossible.
He is the world’s leading long-distance swimmer.
Strel is the only person to swim the full length of the Amazon (3,273.38 miles), Yangtze (2,487 miles), Mississippi (2,360 miles), Danube (1,777 miles), and Parana rivers (3,032 miles).
“It’s not about me achieving the impossible,” Strel said. “It’s about focusing the world’s attention on the need for change. This is a challenge for people to step off the boat and join the World Swim for peace, friendship and clean water.”
Three months ago, Strel was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. He is an activist for peace, friendship and clean water.
“I’m grateful to the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame,” Strel said in a phone interview from his Phoenix home. “Seeing my name next to the greatest open water swimmers in the world leaves me speechless.”
Strel has been swimming since he was a 6-year-old boy in the town of Mokronog in the Slovenian region of Lower Carniola; at that time it was part of Republic of Yugoslavia.
His mother was upset when her young son told her that he would leave home for a swimming career.
“I was a hard worker,” Strel said. “My mother was not happy about me leaving home. When I look back on that decision, which was over 45 years ago, I know that I made the right decision to leave home for this.”
He has been called Daredevil, Fishman, Human Fish, and The Big River Man and a man that comes second only to creatures with gills and fins.
Strel smiles at the complimentary remarks that are said about him in an effort to understand his swimming stamina.
He credits his swimming talents to a determination to promote friendship, peace and clean water. That pushes him to go distances that no one else has done before.
Strel has earned all the accolades he has been given.
He practices swimming everyday for many hours, watches what he eats, gets plenty of rest and keeps a sharp mind.
Jerry Dellaportas, president at TDG Sports, is excited to partner with Martin Strel in organizing Strel World Swim.
“Martin’s heart and motive brings to light the global crisis in our waters and the effect on the human race,” Dellaportas said. “Unlike the skepticism of global warming, the crisis of our waters globally is real and scientifically proven. This is not a liberal or conservative awareness campaign — this is a survival message campaign for the future of the world.”