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Thread: Former Olympic gold medal winner open water swimming tries 11 city tour for 2nd time

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    Former Olympic gold medal winner open water swimming tries 11 city tour for 2nd time

    Maarten van der Weijden, the 38 year old cancer survivor who won a gold medal at the Olympic games after defeating cancer which was found in him in 2001. He had leukemia and after having 4 chemo treatments and after under going a bone marrow transplant he was cured from his cancer and in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics he won the gold medal at the 10 kilometer open water swim.

    He once swam across the Ijsselmeer to collect money for the Dutch cancer society but last year he attempted a huge and impressive achievement. He would swim the route of the 11 cities tour that once in a large few years is skated but rarely ever happens. The skaters are done with the 190 kilometers (118 miles) in about 7 hours. But van der Meijden is going to try and swim it after failing last year to reach the final city and the finish line. He was exhausted after only sleeping a very short time every hour/night and he slept on the water (boat with a mattress on it) and he is being regularly fed.

    As said last year he almost made the entire tour but this year he hopes to finish and collect even more money for cancer research. He was so tired last year and weak that the medical team decided to stop his tour de force.

    There are numerous people watching the swim. In every city a big crowd is there to cheer him and and between the towns many farmers drove their tractors to the water way and lit up the water so he would not have to swim in the dark. The same with drivers and people with lights who lit up his swim.

    Friesland-loopt-ook-s-nachts-uit-voor-Maarten-van-der-Weijden-Foto-ANP.jpg

    If he reaches the finish line he will have done 118 miles, a massive achievement.

    For people who want to see this massive sporting achievement, it is being broadcast live in HD and in 360 degrees until he reaches the finish.

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    Re: Former Olympic gold medal winner open water swimming tries 11 city tour for 2nd time

    At 9.03am Dutch time (36 minutes ago) Maarten had done more than a marathon in swimming. He has passed through 3 of the 11 cities and is now 47 kilometers under way. Or for US readers (another mile preferring countries) he has been swimming for 29 miles.

    He has gotten 3 of his 11 stamps, because that is how the skaters at the 11 cities tour were able to prove they had skated through all 11 cities. If the skaters did not have all 11 city stamps they would not get their 11 cities medal. A highly prized medal any skater would love to have.

    But swimming such a distance is of course something very different. These are images from his first night of swimming

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    Re: Former Olympic gold medal winner open water swimming tries 11 city tour for 2nd time

    In Stavoren a group of people will join him for part of the course either for 500 meters of 2000 meters and if I am correct they will join him in every city he swims through and that is done because those fellow swimmers have been sponsored to swim part of the distance all with the aim of collecting money for cancer research and other cancer causes.

    He is about to receive his 4th stamp, signaling he has done 4 of the 11 cities he plans to swim through.
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    Re: Former Olympic gold medal winner open water swimming tries 11 city tour for 2nd time

    Maarten has been valiantly swimming through all day, he is after more than one full day of swimming almost 2 hours ahead of schedule. He is now close to half way the swim, two hours ago he was at the 56 mile point, with his swimming speed of close to 2.5 miles an hour he may reach his 124 miles goal sooner than expected.

    Something happened near Hindeloopen (a small town in Friesland) that only happens during the real 11 cities tour, a traffic jam so bad nobody could get close to the town anymore. That many people showed up to watch him go past there that nobody could reach it anymore.

    The night (which last year was the problem) will be lighted by many people with cars, tractors and people holding lights.

    Every so many hours he is allowed to sleep a small amount of time in a specially towed boat after which he will continue swimming. He is even eating and drinking during the swim. A specially constructed table has been made so that he could eat more easily. This year, unlike last year there is very much attention for his food. A company in the city that I live has created a full diet plan to keep him energized and healthy for the swim. Bread meals and he also gets soup and pasta meals to keep him being able to swim.
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    Re: Former Olympic gold medal winner open water swimming tries 11 city tour for 2nd time

    He is down to the last hours of his marathon swim, only 15 kilometers to go (less than 10 miles) but tiredness is getting to him after 2 days of swimming and just a few hours of sleeping on a raft in the middle of the water. Especially these few miles he is swimming now is terribly difficult as there are almost no towns to speak off. The crowds are a big support for him, they are shooting him on. Every bridge, every town is full of people screaming him on.

    He has so far collected 1.4 million euros (1.6 million dollars) for cancer research and other cancer related projects.

    He will most likely finish in 5 hours or so and has collected the 10 stamps from each city along the 11 cities route so he just has 1 more stamp to go and will then have completed his mission from 1 year ago when he had to stop due to complete exhaustion. He has been in the water now for 61 hours, eating, drinking, etc. etc. etc. in the water. His swim suit has been giving him some issues with the abrasions which they are trying to remedy with petroleum jelly.
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    Re: Former Olympic gold medal winner open water swimming tries 11 city tour for 2nd time

    The amount of collected sponsor money has jumped up almost to 2.7 million Euros. He is now almost within reach of one of the most famous bridges along the 11 cities course, the bridge at Bartlehiem. It is not known when exactly the bridge was built but the earliest image of it is from 1747, so it is most likely close to three centuries old. It is most famous as it is the place where the skaters (and Maarten) went from the normal course up to Dokkum before doubling back and skating back to the bridge at Bartlehiem.
    Ajax 34th National title, We will forever remember Appie Nouri

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