Benoit Lecomte successfully completed a Trans-Atlantic swim, a swim more than 3,700 miles, in 72 days in 1998. Lecomte immigrated to Texas from France when he was just 23 years old. However, when his father died of colon cancer in 1992, Lecomte became determined to do something to prevent the ignorance of the disease from taking the life of other people as well.

Lecomte enlisted the help of the University of Texas Austin’s Human Performance Lab Director Edward Coyle to help him prepare for the enormous crossing. Lecomte trained to build his endurance, swimming and cycling 3-5 hours a day, six days a week for two years and underwent a series of long endurance swims that usually lasted up to 24 hours. One of these swims included 24 hours of non-stop swimming at Barton Springs covering the distance of 48.5 miles. This also helped fine-tune the equipment and nutritional regiment that Lecotme would need for the crossing.

swimming from the shores of Cape Cod, Massachusetts towards Quiberon, France with only two sailors to guide him, Lecomte swam over 600 km (3, 736 nautical miles) in just 72 days. Using a large joined flipper that was attached to his feet and a swim suit that reduced the resistance in the water Lecomte went down in history as the first, and so far only, man in history to swim the Atlantic ocean.

Lecomte is currently undergoing a project called swim For Liberty, which is designed to connect the two cities that were the most affected by the September 11, 2001 tragedy. The swim will begin in Washington D.C., follow along the Chesapeake River, stop of in Atlantic City for a memorial of the people who fell in Pennsylvania, then continue on to Liberty Island in New York.

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