Philippe Croizon, whose limbs were amputated after a 1994 electrical accident at age 26, completed his swim late Friday from Alaska’s Little Diomede Island to the Russian maritime border near Big Diomede Island.
Mr Croizon had intended to swim all the way to the shoreline of Big Diomede, but regional Russian authorities denied him permission to enter the territory.
His swim to Russian waters took about an hour and 15 minutes and he was accompanied by his friend, Arnaud Chassery.
“I wanted to say that we both linked the five continents despite one country’s objection. Despite the objection, we managed to join America and Asia. Arnaud told me he was proud of what he has done with me and I am proud of what I have done with him,” said Mr Croizon.
Mr Croizon uses paddle-like prosthetics to swim, and has completed crossings of the English Channel, the Red Sea and other major waterways. His Bering Strait swim was the last in a series of expeditions across waterways that separate continents, according to Handicap International, the nonprofit organisation that helped organise Croizon’s Alaska undertaking.
“Just to say that nothing is impossible. We can all succeed in life despite of what happens to us. There is no difference. We are all equal,” Mr Croizon said.
Mr Croizon plans to travel to London to work as a radio and television commentator during the Paralympics, he said.