One-Armed Man Almost Swims English Channel

But he did swim in several circles. There, I got the easy joke out of the way. It’s easy because he’s persevering despite having one arm, while I use my two functional-yet-flabby arms to make fun of him. Also he’s French, so there’s a “surrendering” joke in there too. And I’m comfortable with making one or both of them.

Olivier Desmet - almost swam English Channel

Olivier Desmet was set out to swim the 22-mile stretch of water between the French coast and the British Isles, but within sight of the coast, his safety boat told him to come aboard. Quel dommage.

Desmet lost his arm about 30 years ago in a motorcycle accident, and the technology to rebuild him and make him faster & stronger only existed in TV studios. So he made himself bigger and stronger by training in a pool and eating a steady diet of fries and beer. Which means that maybe most of us are physically capable of attempting such a swim.

He said he probably won’t try to cross La Manche again in his life, but does plan to add more sporting event triumphs to his trophy room. He said of this swimming attempt, “For me it’s a great success and not a failure.”

All right, now I just can’t ignore the “surrender” joke after a second window opened for it. Although I’m a little disappointed there weren’t any “Fugitive” reference opportunities in this story. Maybe next time.