First Latvian swims la Manche

Take note – story published 4 years and 9 months ago

Latvian swimmer Valerijs Kalmikovs, who competed at two Olympic Games, completed a successful swim between England and France across the Strait of Dover on September 9, becoming the first athlete from Latvia to accomplish the famous feat of aquatic endurance.

According to information posted on Kalmikovs' account on Facebook, the air temperature ranged from 15 to 19 degrees Celsius during the swim, while water temperature was a balmy 19 degrees Celsius.

The swimmer completed the crossing in 11 hours 13 minutes.

"I had a phenomenal team. You all did a great job... The swim was great, I really enjoyed it," he said.

"The last 40 meters were freezing, but overall it was a very good swim."

Kalmikovs, 46, participated in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics for Latvia. In Atlanta, he finished 13th in the 200-meter breaststroke, while in Sydney he was 17th in the same discipline. After his retirement, Kalmikov became a professional coach.

To view this resource, we need your consent to the use of cookies.


The first person to complete the cross-channel swim was famously Captain Matthew Webb, who became a national hero in the United Kingdom in 1875 as a result. 

Seen a mistake?

Select text and press Ctrl+Enter to send a suggested correction to the editor

Select text and press Report a mistake to send a suggested correction to the editor

Related articles


Most important