Athlete Without Limbs to Swim Around The World

Category: Society / Apr 24, 2012 12:02PM EDT

French swimmer Philippe Croizon announced on Tuesday (April 24) that he plans to swim round the world, despite having no arms or legs.

He and his swimming partner Arnaud Chassery unveiled a plan to link the world's five continents by swimming across a series of narrow straits that separate them.

Having lost his limbs at 26 after he suffered a powerful electrical shock while changing a television antenna, Croizon said he wants to prove he's still up to the challenge. But he also wants to send a more universal message.

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... 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, he said.

Croizon has already swum the English Channel, a feat which made him even more determined to take on the new challenge.

The pair plan to leave France on May 6 for the first leg of their journey, linking Austrailia and Asia by swimming from papua New Guinea to Indonesia. Over the summer they will then cross the Red Sea (Asia to Africa), the Strait of Gibraltar (Africa toEurope) and the Bering Strait (Asia to America).

They plan to finish in the middle of August, after a brief trip to the White House, having swum a total of over 85km and spent 45 hours in the water.