French endurance athlete Philippe Croizon, lost his limbs in 1994 after he was electrocuted while changing a TV antenna on his roof. But the resulting physical challenges haven’t stinted his ambition — if anything, they’ve driven him.
At 44 years old, Croizon has already crossed the English Channel, using prosthetic limbs and fins attached to the stumps of his legs. And this summer, he takes on the world. Along with his friend, Arnaud Chassery, Croizon plans to physically and symbolically link the earth by swimming between five continents. The trip will total 53 miles and roughly 45 hours in the water.
Here’s how they’ll do it: In May, they’ll start off by swimming between Indonesia (Asia) and Papua New Guinea (Oceania). Next, they’ll cross the Red Sea between Jordan (Asia) and Egypt (Africa) and the Strait of Gibraltar between Africa and Europe. The finish? Crossing the Bering Strait between America and Asia — all by August.
“We are going to symbolically link the five continents, two little people like us, two little men, we’re going to be able to build a bridge between the continents,” Croizon said, according to the International Business Times. “That means that we’re going to bring them together. Which means no one is very far from each other. So even if we have different political opinions, or skin colors, or even with our disabilities, we all live on the same planet. And that’s the clear message we want to send.”