Ersin Aydin Passes Away, Swam For The Fatherland
Ersin Aydin Passes Away, Swam For The FatherlandCourtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California. “I’ve done it for the Fatherland,” said Ersin Aydin, a Turkish swimmer who swam in a shark cage from Mersin in southern Turkey to Kyrenia (Girne) on the north coast of Cyprus in 43 hours 20 minutes in 1973.
According to Sports Illustrated in 1973, Ersin ate 14 lamb chops, 13 chocolate bars, 20 cheese sandwiches, nearly eight pounds of peaches, 25 glasses of tea and three jars of honey while becoming the first person to swim from Turkey to the island of Cyprus, a total of 96 km.
After his Cyprus swim, he swam the English Channel twice and in both directions: from France to England in 16 hours 40 minutes in 1975 and from England to France in 13 hours 40 minutes in 1977.
Over the course of his career, he completed 27 marathon swims, totaling 1,160 km, including swims in the Sea of Marmara, the Black Sea, the Nile River, the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles. His races included the Nile International Marathon Swim, the Çanakkale Marathon, andthe International Istanbul Marathon five times.
In 1976, he wrote a book called Yüzme (Swimming in English) and was awarded the Milliyet Spor Ödülleri (Milliyet Sports Award), given to the sportsperson of the year in Turkey in 1974.
Aydin, who was suffering from cancer the last two years and died at the Ege University Hospital in İzmir, Turkey, was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1979 as an Honour Swimmer. Aydin remains the only inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame from Turkey.
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