Press Release – Acumen Republic
Disabled Italian distance swimmer Salvatore Cimmino has successfully completed his epic crossing of Cook Strait. Salvatore entered the water at Makara at 8.47am this morning and made land at Perano Head at 5.05pm – 8 hours and 18 minutes later. … Disabled Swimmer Conquers the Cook Strait
Disabled Italian distance swimmer Salvatore Cimmino has successfully completed his epic crossing of Cook Strait.
Salvatore entered the water at Makara at 8.47am this morning and made land at Perano Head at 5.05pm – 8 hours and 18 minutes later.
He is the first amputee to swim the Strait and the first person to complete the crossing in October.
“I’m exhausted but very, very happy. We have built another bridge and are now closer to a world without barriers,” Salvatore said immediately after the swim. “This is about disability awareness and people should know disability is no barrier to great achievement, as it is no barrier to everyday life.”
New Zealand distance swimming legend Philip Rush, who supported Salvatore through the race, said conditions were challenging.
“The air and water temperature are the reasons why this hasn’t been done in October before. It was very cold out there. This is a hard swim at the best of times and Salvatore has put in a truly champion effort.
“The water temperature is approximately 12 degrees has been averaging between 12 and 14 degrees outside the water. He has done exceptionally well to cope with the cold temperatures,” Philip says.
Good friend, former All Black and Italy rugby coach John Kirwan says, “I am sad to not be celebrating with Salvatore but am very happy for him and incredibly proud of his achievement.
“He was so determined to conquer the Cook Strait – you only have to meet him to understand what he is doing this for.”
The Cook Strait crossing is part of Salvatore’s Swim the Seas of the Globe, campaign to promote disability awareness. As part of this project, Salvatore has already completed swims in Israel, Italy / Slovenia, Mexico and Canada.
Salvatore had his right leg amputated at the age of 15 due to cancer and began swimming later in life for therapeutic reasons before turning it into a passion for raising disability awareness.
Because Salvatore made the crossing in a wetsuit, it will not be recorded as an official Cook Strait record.