Martin Strel, Big river man, the last hero on Earth.
“My name is Martin. You can see, I’m not Lance Armstrong. I’m a little fat and a little old. I like to drink a little. I’m a simple man. There are many people like me. I hope they see this swim and realize they can do impossible things, even save the world. I hope people remember this rainforest is our friend and stop destroying it. Now I’m very tired. I’ve just swam the Amazon… Please excuse me.” (Written by Borut Strel, Martin’s son as a speech for his arrival at Belem, Brazil on the 7th of April 2007, Martin didn’t have the strength to read it).
Martin Strel was born in Slovenia, a small central European country. He is a Flamenco guitar teacher and former gambler who likes to drive 140km/h while drunk. His first endurance swim was swimming away from his violent father in a creek when he was a child.
Today, he is an ultra marathon swimmer. Previously, the most epic marathons swims he completed were the Mississippi River in 2002 (3797 km) and The Yangtze River in 2004 (4003 km). Now he says he gambles with his life. This film follows Martin’s attempt to swim the Amazon River. The Amazon is a 5268km river that crosses the jungle from Peru to Brazil. It is known as the largest, longest and most dangerous river in the world.
Martin wanted to be at one with the river and believed that if he could understand and act as an animal, then any wild animals or insects wouldn’t hurt him. He swam all the way avoiding pieces of drift wood, snakes, crocodiles, piranhas and many more dangers. Martin wanted to show people that they can achieve their dreams and goals with hard work and perseverance. He also says he did it to raise awareness of the rainforest and its importance.
I am really excited to share this story with you. This is a guy who reached his goal not for glory or riches but to help humanity believe in itself and better itself. Don’t be afraid to dream and never ever give up on them.