Joel Matos Completes Fast Turnaround Of The Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming

Joel Matos Completes Fast Turnaround Of The Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming

Joel Matos Ortiz, an aquatic therapist from Puerto Rico completed an unprecedented 4-island, 2-day stage swim called Swim Across The Caribbean in 2018 to benefit the Hospital del Niño de Puerto Rico.

But he got right down to business in completing the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming while raising money for the Special Olympics Puerto Rico.

Nine days after he completed a 32.3 km crossing of the Catalina Channel from Santa Catalina Island to the Southern California mainland in 11 hours 56 minutes on July 16th, he completed the 45.9 km 20 Bridges circumnavigation swim around Manhattan Island in New York on July 25th in 8 hours 13 minutes. Then today, only 27 days after his first leg, he completed a 33.5 km crossing of the English Channel from England to France in 13 hours 41 minutes to achieve the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.

His coach Randy Soler said, “Joel finished the Triple Crown with a great swim across the English Channel. For over a year, we have been working and preparing for this event. He finally did it. It wasn’t easy for Joel and me between the pandemic and finding ways to swim in cold water in Puerto Rico (where the water temperature is 80-82°F) so we did a lot of ice baths for mental training and also static training with resistance bands in small rivers in Puerto Rico (where the water temperature is 67-68°F.  At the end of the day, it all worked. This Triple Crown was to raise money for Special Olympics Puerto Rico. By doing this, he sends a message of hope to all Puerto Ricans after all that we have been through.”

Matos said, “It was a great challenge to conquer these waters of the English Channel by many factors. The currents were very strong, and at one point I was fighting an hour against them, but I was able to keep focus and control the mental aspect, which is the main challenge, in addition to the typical cold temperatures of a European country. We did it, and all to the benefit of Special Olympics Puerto Rico.”

Note: American Patrick McKnight previously completed the three swims of the Triple Crown in 34 days.

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Steven Munatones