Salvatore Cimmino continues training in the open sea
Awaiting the great challenge: in mid September he will swim across the stretch of ocean separating Cuba from Florida
- On 17 April Salvatore will take part in Swim Miami 2016, the American Open Water Swimming Federation's race
- Training continues relentlessly: 20/22 kilometres a day, swimming without the aid of any highperformance prostheses
- The aim of the undertaking: telling the world about disability and inclusion
Salvatore Cimmino continues training relentlessly, swimming between 20 and 22 kilometres in the open sea every day. The 51-year-old Finmeccanica employee from Torre Annunziata (Naples) will attempt swimming from Cuba to Florida in mid September. An astounding feat, even more so considering that it is being taken on by a man who has lived with one leg only for the past fifteen years.
Salvatore left for Miami in mid February, for another six months of strenuous training, morning and afternoon, with a short rest in the middle of the day. He will then be ready to swim off Hemingway's beach across a particularly challenging stretch of ocean and reach Florida. A 72-hour crossing of about 170 kilometres, with no breaks, only taking mineral supplements and, above all, with one leg only.
But Salvatore's days are filled with a thousand commitments on top of the training sessions. "I am trying to attract the attention of local institutions on problems connected with disability. My exploit – says Salvatore – is a way to embody the wishes and needs of those who are unable to voice them. I swim to overcome barriers, not only physical ones, but also the ones that prevent disabled people from being included in society and at work. On 17 April – Salvatore adds – I will take part in an open water swimming competition organised by the American Open Water Swimming Federation here, Swim Miami 2016. It is an important competition – I will have to swim for 10 kilometres with professionals, and it will be a good way to test my abilities. Apart from that, there is a lot of enthusiasm around my exploit, from local institutions and the Italian community, which has a large presence here, as I am starting to realise. For a few days now – says Salvatore - my neighbours' two sons have been asking me to join my training sessions, they swim close to the coast for a while, next to me, then say goodbye and go back home. I am forced to swim close to the coast because I still cannot have a support boat following me in my training sessions. Manatees, large seals very common around here, swim close to the coast for the very same reason, i.e. to protect themselves from motorboats. The other day I inadvertently slapped a curious one with an arm stroke -- it was right in front of me. I hope this curiosity is contagious, and the interest in my undertaking helps giving a voice to those who cannot speak, raising the world's awareness of the topic of disability”.