The crazy challenge of Théo Curin, disabled athlete and altitude swimmer

10,000 steps and more. For ordinary people, swimming is a leisure physical activity, the multiple health benefits of which this column has already touted. Besides having direct effects on the heart, swimming helps reduce cardiovascular risk factors – by improving blood sugar control and lipid profile, and by fighting high blood pressure. It also makes it possible to increase the respiratory capacities, to relieve the pains of osteoarthritis… In addition, it is a little traumatic sport and one feels in the water as in weightlessness, two appreciable advantages, especially for overweight people or who are returning to sports after a long inactivity. Not to mention the benefits for mental health.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also For your health, take the plunge!

But beyond recreational practices, in a spirit of “healthy sport” or competition, some take the plunge to meet extraordinary challenges. In 2010, Philippe Croizon, whose four limbs were amputated at the age of 26 after an electrocution, thus crossed the Channel (33 km).

Thursday, October 8, during a press conference, a trio announced they were embarking on an even more extreme project: the swimming crossing of the mythical Lake Titicaca, on the border between Peru and Bolivia, i.e. 122 km in autonomy , in water at 10 degrees, all at an altitude of 3,800 meters.

At the origin of this “Crazy idea”, Théo Curin, 20, member of the Paralympic swimming team, who has already won several medals in European and world championships. This energetic and jack-of-all-trades young man (columnist for Health magazine for a year, he has also been an actor in the series Cloakrooms, speaker, muse) will be accompanied by a former Olympic swimmer, Malia Metella, and an “eco-adventurer”, Matthieu Witvoet.

Survival courses

Amputated of all four limbs at the age of 6, after meningitis, Théo Curin started swimming at 10, after meeting Philippe Croizon. The aquaphobic child quickly fell “in love” with this sport which gives him a feeling of freedom. “Water is the element where I no longer need my prostheses”, enthuses this champion, who is not afraid to try his hand at terrestrial disciplines. In early September, he became the first quad amputee to complete a semi-ironman, taking six hours and fifty minutes to complete the 1.9 km swim, 90 km bike and 21.1 km run.

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