Now this is news that most likely will not mean a lot to the most people, but as a Dutchy from heart I want to highlight this achievement of what this man is doing. Let me explain what is going on!
This weekend almost whole Holland is following the achievement of openwaterswimmer Maarten van der Weijden. This man is a former cancer-patient who won a golden medal in the olympics in 2008. What he currently trying to do this weekend is **SWIM** the elfstedentocht in Northern Holland.
The Elfstedentocht also might not mean that much to you, but this is a cultural event in Holland
The Elfstedentocht is an original ice-skating event which is held in the Northern part of Holland which goes through 11 towns (elfsteden means 11 towns). Because its an natural ice skating event this doesnt occur very often, 15 times in the 20th century, and the last time was in 1997. The ride is almost 200 kilometer and thats why this event is so huge and heroic and everybody wants to be in when it is. It is rare!!
So why is this guy SWIMMING 200 KMS???
He is doing this to raise money for the cancer research fund. As earlier sayd, this guy is a cancer survivor. I read a book from him called 'Beter' where he writes about how his cancer trajectory went. I remember that I was impressed by his vision on his cancer where he says something like:
> 'People are so proud of me that I beat cancer, but realisticly....I didn't beat anything! The doctors beat this, I just underwent everything'
And because of this vision, he says the guilt about surviving sometimes haunts him, and he feels the need to give back to the health care that healed him.
I love this vision!! It's honest and from my point of view realistic!
Now swimming 200 kms isn't without any danger
It is expected that is will take him 2.5 days to complete him journey while swimming 3 km/h non stop. No sleeping, crapping in the water, eating while swimming. He will be monitored non stop in body temperature heartrate and all those things. It is expected that by tomorrow evening he will be so exhausted that he will start to hallucinate while swimming, as he already experienced in his test round of 140 kms or so (which is already damn far !!)