Martinique — Christophe Maleau, a 12-year old swimmer, is now the youngest person to swim from the island of Saint Lucia to Martinique. He took on the challenge with the advocacy to raise awareness for breast cancer, which his mother is currently battling.
The amazing feat took Christophe 13 hours, 50 minutes, and 47 seconds to cross the water from the Bay of Saint Lucia to Saint Anne in Martinique. His father followed him in a canoe, also with doctors, divers, and other family members in a separate boat.
Only a few people have tried and succeeded in doing so, such as 71-year-old two-time Masters World champion Jacques Sicot, who completed the trip at age 39 and again at 69, and French Olympic and European swimming champion Gilles Rondy. Christophe made history as the youngest.
“Christophe got it into his head that he wanted to help cancer patients, so he does it by swimming. It was he who ended up encouraging me. At the end, there was swell, bigger waves and of course, I was a little worried. But when he looked at me, I felt he was fine. He didn’t want to give up. It was out of the question,” his father told Face 2 Face Africa.
Moreover, Christophe had been attempting daring challenges even before. In 2017, he completed a 6.4 km swim and in 2018, he successfully swam from Diamant to Schoelcher towns in Martinique within only 10 hours. Still, the recent swim had not been easy. In fact, he said there were moments that he wanted to quit but he did not give up.
“I held on singing songs to myself, thinking about the encouragement I received on social media. I was hungry at times during the crossing; I sometimes wanted to stop because I was tired. But when this idea crossed my mind, I told myself that I had no right. I had to continue for the cause I was defending,” Christophe said.