Australian marathon swimmer Chloe McCardel has been crowned 'Queen of the English Channel' after an incredible record-breaking feat that is being hailed around the world.
The 36-year-old has now swum across the English Channel more times than any other person in history after completing a record-breaking 44th crossing of the 34km stretch of water between England and France.
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Wrapped in an Australian flag shortly after sealing the world record, McCardel said she was ecstatic to achieve a goal that had been more than a decade in the making.
"I've been waiting a long time to celebrate this swim," McCardel said after her record-breaking crossing.
"I am ecstatic, I have so much adrenaline and I am proud to finally be queen of the English Channel.
"It feels like my Channel journey is complete after 12 years and it feels great."
Australian long-distance swimmer Chloe McCardel has officially broken the world record for most swims across the English Channel 👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/HUnowyz6hB
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) October 13, 2021
Having first crossed the channel in 2009, McCardel - who was born in Melbourne and now lives in Sydney - has now racked up an impressive 44 crossings.
Her 43rd swim, to equal the previous world record set in 2004 by British marathon swimming legend Alison Streeter, came last Thursday (7 October).
Last year, she completed her 37th swim to surpass the men's world record.
"Today, the conditions were very favourable and the sun even came out, which is rare for October in England," she said after her latest record-breaking effort.
"I was concerned my chest infection might affect my swim but I felt really good. Aside from some one-metre waves earlier, the last few hours were very flat so I got to just enjoy the swim and soak it all up.
"I have had immense support back in Australia. I want to thank everyone across the country who has supported me."
World hails 'extraordinary' Chloe McCardel record
It wasn't just in her homeland that McCardel was being praised for the amazing feat, with tributes to the swimmer rolling in from around the world.
Australia’s Chloe McCardel has broken the record for the most English Channel crossings with her 44th swim on Wednesday https://t.co/IwDpbgIMOz
— Bloomberg (@business) October 13, 2021
— Hugh Whitfeld (@hughwhitfeld) October 13, 2021
Grit, persistence and resilience. All the superlatives. Huge congratulations to Chloe McCardel on completing 44 English Channel crossings!!! 🇬🇧 🏊🏻♀️ 🇫🇷 https://t.co/ZXT08kTzTK
— Lewis Pugh (@LewisPugh) October 13, 2021
She did it. Congratulations Chloe McCardel on your extraordinary feat. 🧜♀️👏🏊♀️🍾🥂 https://t.co/w1PChbmtBB
— Jane Kennedy (@Jane_L_Kennedy) October 13, 2021
And she’s done it!! Australian swimmer @chloemccardel has smashed the world record with her 44th crossing of the English Channel - she made it to Wissant beach at 1407 after just over 10 hours in the water @bbcsoutheast pic.twitter.com/zSIoaHGDjn
— Amanda Akass (@amandaakass) October 13, 2021
McCardel, who is also a motivational speaker, will return to Australia in November, where she hopes to use her achievement to inspire others.
"For now, I get to share my story and soak it all in," she said.
"I only learnt how to swim at the age of 11 and now, at 36, I have broken the record and swum the English Channel more times than anyone in the world.
"I really want to inspire young people, especially girls, and show them that anything is possible."
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