Olympians Swimming the English Channel

The best known long-distance swim in the world is a crossing of the English Channel, connecting Dover, England and either Calais or Cap Griz Nez, France. It was first done in 1875 by Matthew Webb, but it was another 36 years before the feat was repeated, this time by Bill Burgess, a British swimmer who had competed at the 1900 Olympics, making him the first Olympian to swim the Channel.

Since that time, it has been performed multiple times by Olympians, as one would expect. In 1926 Trudy Ederle, who had won 2 bronze medals and a gold medal at the 1924 Olympics, became the first woman to make the crossing, swimming from Cap Griz Nez in France to Dover. Ederle was trained for her swim by Bill Burgess.

The most successful Olympic swimmer to have swum the English Channel was likely John Kinsella, who won a silver medal in the 1968 1,500 freestyle and a gold medal in the 1972 4×200 free relay. Kinsella crossed the Channel in 1979, swimming from England-to-France.

Athlete Nation(s) Sport(s) Era Channel Swims
Greta Andersen DEN SWI 1948-52 1957/58/59/64/65 Five successful attempts (Best 13:40). France-to-England in 1957/58/59; England-to-France in 1964/65.
Miguel Arrobas POR SWI 1992 2008 England-to-France (9:30).
Bill Burgess GBR SWI/WAP 1900 1911 England-to-France (22:35). Second swimmer to cross English Channel in 1911.
Bimal Chandra IND SWI 1948 1959 France-to-England (13:50).
Edith van Dijk NED SWI 2008 2003 France-to-England (9:08)
Trudy Ederle USA SWI 1924 1926 France-to-England (14:39). First woman to swim English Channel. Third person to swim France-to-England.
Jo O-Ryeon KOR SWI 1972 1982 England-to-France (9:35).
John Kinsella USA SWI 1968-72 1979 England-to-France (9:10).
Yury Kudinov KAZ SWI 2012 2007 (7:05)
Linda McGill AUS SWI 1964 1965/1967 [3] All France-to-England (Best 9:59 (1967)). Three crossings in 1967. 9:59 at the time a record for women.
Eva Mortensen DEN SWI 1988 1996 England-to-France (10:46).
Veljko Rogošić YUG SWI 1960-64 2004 England-to-France (11:27) at the age of 63.
Gilles Rondy FRA SWI 2008 2004 England-to-France (7:54)
Arati Saha IND SWI 1952 1959 France-to-England (16:20).
Petar Stoychev BUL SWI 2000-12 2006 England-to-France (7:21); 2007 England-to-France (6:57) – first crossing under 7 hours and record time from 2007-2012.
Edward Temme GBR WAP 1928-36 1927 France-to-England and 1934 England-to-France (15:34). First swimmer to cross English channel in both ways.
Rostislav Vítek CZE SWI 2008 2009 England-to-France (7:16)

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