Bhakti Sharma- Conquering the seas instead of swimming pools.
At an age where all of us are bothered about eating and walking, Bhakti Sharma, an Indian open water swimmer, had begun swimming at that age,2 years old. The youngest and second swimmer in the world to swim in the four oceans, is all of 28 years of age. She was born in Mumbai and brought up in Udaipur and has done her postgraduate course from Bangalore.
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Her swimming journey begun with her winning various accolades at district and state level competitions which made her mother encourage her to try open water swimming. This led to her swimming from Uran port to the Gateway of India, a 16 km swim, in 2003.
Adding to her list of victories, she went on to swim the four oceans- Indian, Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic covering eight different water bodies. She individually crossed the English channel in 2006 in 13 hours 55 minutes at the mere age of 16. Her list also includes, the only mother-daughter duo to have even swum across the English Channel, in 2008. She also won the Lake Zurich swim in 2006, swam 25 km in the 2007 USA Swimming Open Water Championships in Florida, won a gold medal in Marathon swim around the Key West Island, Atlantic Ocean. That made her the first Asian swimmer to participate in three major American Swimming events. In 2015, she became the youngest person in the world to swim in the Antarctic ocean for 2.28 km in 41.14 minutes.
Image source- cloudfront.net
This led to her getting invited to speak at various events at IIT Kanpur, TEDx Udaipur, SIBM-Bangalore, NMIMS amongst other ones. In 2012, she received the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award from the President, Pranab Mukherjee for all her achievements.
Image source- betterindia.com
Her journey from a person swimming in pools to open water swimming was not easy and she went through hard times that almost made her gave up but she still did not. She went on swimming for her country despite all odds and has an aim of winning a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan. Let us wish hope that our country fully supports her, BFY wishes you luck!
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