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Quadriplegic Swims Across English Channel
September 20, 2010

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Philippe Croizon lost both arms and both legs in a horrific accident in 1994. In 2010, he swam across the English Channel.

Croizon, 42, of France was standing on a ladder adjusting his TV antenna when the ladder touched a power line. The result was a shock of 20,000 volts of electricity coursing his body. His limbs had to be amputated.

Since the incident, his sense of adventure had gone up a few notches. For example, he jumped from a plane in 2007 wearing only a parachute. Not long after, he set his sights on swimming the Channel.

Two years ago, he was barely able to swim to lengths of a swimming pool near his home of Chatelleraut. He trained up to 35 hours a week to build up muscle and stamina.

Now, he has achieved his goal. Flanked by a full medical team, Croizon completed the 21-mile crossing from Folkestone, U.K., to Wissant, France.

His prosthetic legs had flippers attached. His shoulders propelled his upper body. He breathed using a snorkel. Three dolphins accompanied him for awhile.

He and his crew had allowed 24 hours for the crossing, but he finished it in less than 14 hours. (The world record is just less than 7 hours.)

Croizon had recently written a book about his life since the accident. The book was titled J'ai décidé de vivre (I decide to live).



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