French Paralympic swimmer completes 122 km crossing on Lake Titicaca

Paralympic swimmer Theo Curin at Lake Titicaca, Peru on November 20, 2021 – AFP

French Paralympic swimmer Théo Curin, 21, arrived this Saturday (20) in the Uros Islands, in Peru, after swimming 122 km along Lake Titicaca, at an altitude of 3,800 meters, departing from Bolivia, AFP found.

Curin, who had his extremities amputated at the age of six after suffering a massive meningitis, completed in ten days the challenge of swimming across the icy waters of the highest navigable lake in the world, along with two other French sportsmen.

Curin was received on Apu Inti (God of the Sun), one of the floating islands of the Uros by local authorities, who presented him with a typical “chullo” (Andean hat).

The trio took the first stroke on November 10 on the beach in the Bolivian town of Copacabana, targeting the Uros Islands, in the Bay of Puno, Peru.

The swimmer, originally from eastern France, was fourth in the 200 meters freestyle at the Rio-2016 Paralympic Games and was twice world runner-up.

Curin’s colleagues in this feat were former Olympic swimmer Malia Metella, 39, retired from swimming pools for 11 years, and Matthieu Witvoet, 27, who defines himself as an “eco-adventurer”.

The athletes took turns, dragging a boat produced with waste, in order to send a message about caring for the environment.

During the trip, they filtered fresh water from the lake for drinking and stored the food in reusable bags so as not to generate contaminating waste.

The French swimmer gave up competing in the Tokyo Paralympic Games, discouraged by the postponement and classifications of sports for people with disabilities, to perform an unprecedented feat: crossing 122 km of Lake Titicaca with two companions.

“I want to enjoy it. For seven years I’ve been training every day, twice a day. I never won, I don’t have the feeling of having achieved something. I couldn’t take a medal at the Games because of the inequalities in my classification,” Curin explained to AFP in October, when he decided to take on this challenge.

The tetra-amputee, one of the stars of the French TV miniseries ‘Vestiaires’, decided to leave behind the Tokyo Games – but not the Paris-2024 ones – a few months ago.

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