Roger Allsopp - World's Oldest Person to Swim The English Channel

Roger Allsopp - World's Oldest Person to Swim The English Channel set Guinness World Record

At an age when many of his contemporaries are contentedly inactive, a 70-year-old grandfather of three has become the world's oldest person ever to swim the English Channel.

As The Guardian is reporting, retired breast cancer surgeon Roger Allsopp claimed the new Guinness World Record in the early hours of Wednesday morning, after swimming 21 nautical miles from Dover, England to northern France in 17 hours and 51 minutes.

At 70 years and four months old, Allsopp just narrowly beat the previous world record set by Matt Damon's uncle George Brunstad, who swam England's most famous waterway at 70 years, four days old in August 2004. And it wasn't his first time, either -- a 2006 swim previously snagged Allsopp the title of the oldest Briton to cross the channel, the Daily Record reports.

"I do feel an immense sense of achievement and relief that I have been successful," Allsopp was quoted by the AFP as saying. "This has been an incredible personal challenge for me. That a man of my grand age can achieve such a physical and mental challenge proves that you can live younger if you keep active in mind and body."

The Yorkshire Post reports that Allsopp's efforts helped raise £750,000 (or roughly $1.2 million) for cancer research equipment at the University of Southampton.

''To swim the English Channel is a great challenge and to do it at the mature age of 70 years is astounding," Anna Orford, Official Guinness World Records Adjudicator, told The Telegraph. "We are very pleased to congratulate Roger on this achievement and in doing so setting a new Guinness World Record.''

Though he's already been praised by Orford and others worldwide, Allsopp -- whose first craving after arriving on dry land was a glass of lemonade -- said reprising the achievement is unlikely and he is now looking forward to plenty of rest. "My body has told me not to do anything like this again," he told the UK Press Association.
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