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.
|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  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)|