Thèo Curin, a quadruple amputee, has successfully crossed the 122km length of the 3,812-meter-high Lake Titicaca in the Andes in 11 days.
As the French Paralympic swimmer took turns swimming across the lake with his teammates Matthieu Witvoet and Olympic medalist Malia Metella, they also conquered life-threatening conditions.
Lake Titicaca straddles the borders of Bolivia and Peru. With a surface elevation of 3,812m, the lake is considered the highest-altitude traversable body of water in the world.
The team began the challenge on November 10 at 8:15 am in Bolivia. They took turns swimming and resting on a boat made from recycled waste materials. Throughout the 11 days, the team sustained themselves with filtered water from the lake and food kept in reusable bags.
They battled cold temperatures and a lack of oxygen due to the lake's altitude. And finally, on November 21, they were greeted by supporters on the island of Los Uros, Peru, where they officially finished the challenge.
In an Instagram post, Curin wrote: "I feel joy, fear… I'm crying...we are the first people ever to cross Lake Titicaca...I still can't believe it."
The trio trained for a year at the Maternale lake in the Pyrenees to prepare for the challenge.Curin is originally from Lunéville in Meurthe-et-Moselle. After contracting meningitis at six, he had all four limbs amputated. Curin finished fourth in the 200-meters freestyle at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. He is also a two-time world silver medalist.