28 November 2021, by Victoria Séveno
The Dutch long-distance swimmer, Maarten van der Weijden, set a new world record for distance swimming against a current, raising thousands for cancer research.
World champion and Olympian Maarten van der Weijden
Van der Weijden has certainly had a successful career, taking home gold in the 2008 World Championships and Olympics for the 25-kilometre and 10-kilometre open water marathons respectively.
Since his cancer diagnosis in 2001, the Olympian has also worked to raise funds for cancer research, establishing the Maarten van der Weijden Foundation in 2017. In 2019, he successfully swam the 195-kilometre elfstedentocht route in Friesland, raising over five million euros in the process.
Dutch swimmer breaks world record for charity
This year, he set his sights on a different goal: breaking the world record for distance swam against a current. Van der Weijden dove into the new challenge, swimming for a total of 32 hours and seven minutes, breaking the previous record of 31 hours and seven minutes.
The record attempt helped Van der Weijden, who was born in Alkmaar, raise over 15.000 euros, which will go towards funding research into the prevention of cancer in people with intellectual disabilities.