Amazon Swim (Martin Strel)
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Testimonials and Quotes

"For me it was about achieving the impossible," says Strel, who used to be a guitar teacher. "Like Hillary, to reach top of Everest."

-- The New York Times (2007)

"When I read the story of Martin´s Amazon swim I was struck by both the drive and submission that such a trek demands. I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; contiguous to the the North Saskatchewan river. As I sat in my apartment overlooking the river and playing my guitar, I wrote and recorded this song. It was inspired by Martin´s trek and the symbolism of submitting to something greater than ourselves - I wanted to share it with you."   Link to the song

-- By Nathan Wilson, songwriter and producer, Canada (2007)

"THE CRAZIEST man in the world right now just might be a fat-bellied, 52-year-old Slovenian named Martin Strel. In Peru they called him "El Hombre Pez". In Brazil, where they cheer him from the riverbanks, it´s "O Homen Peixe". Both mean the same thing: the fish man."

--The Age Australia (2007)

"Strel is the Tiger Woods of daredevil long-distance river swimming, the Michael Jordan of piranha dodging."

--The Age Australia (2007)

"I think the animals have just accepted me."

-- Time (2007)

"But Martin Strel is not called "The Fish Man" for nothing. He has just conquered one of the nature´s most spectacular and inhospitable waterway-the Amazon river."

-- The Independant (2007)

"Buckets of blood readied for Slovenian´s Amazon swim."

-- Reuters (2007)

"On all three rivers Strel allowed himself just one daily creature comfort: a bottle of Slovenian wine called Cvicek, half of which he drank during onshore lunches to wash down his energy bars, the other half with dinner at a hotel."

-- Outside Magazine (2004)

"Not that Strel looks the part of ultramarathon swimmer. He has, to put it gently, a big belly. At six feet and 250 pounds, he more closely resembles an aging middle linebacker than the typical long-limbed swimmer. "My father is like a bear before hibernation," says Strel´s 20-year-old son, Borut. He must store food for his long journey. A little fat is good."

-- Sport Illustrated (2002)

"Oh behalf of the citizens of New York, I thank you for your compassion and concern for those most affected by this tragedy of 9/11. The outpouring of support we have received from throughout the world has been a tremendous source of comfort for us all."

-- Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of New York (2002)

"Mr. Strel’s swim will serve to further connect our two countries.
Americans will be able to witness another example of a Slovene citizen pushing the limits of the possible and defining new territory, while Slovenes will experience the Mississippi and its hold on our history and imigration. We also appreciate Mr. Strel’s dedicating his achievement to the innocent victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. He shares the American belief that the world united can defeat terrorism and that individuals can make a difference. We thank and salute him."

-- Johnny Young, USA Ambassador in Slovenia (2002)

"The achievements of Martin Strel evoke respect both in Slovenia as well as elsewhere in the World. With his swimming he moves the limits of human capabilities higher and higher and at the same time contributes to the promotion of a young state, the Republic of Slovenia. He encourages mutual recognition among people and also fights for peace and friendship as well as for sustainable environment and nature."

-- Milan Kucan, Former Slovenian president (2002)