Today I had the pleasure of chatting with the first Croatian to complete the triple crown, Dina Levačić.
Having swam in rivers, lakes and oceans all around world, it's the waters of the Adriatic sea around the island where her grandfather taught her to swim that are her favorite. "I just love the sea" ... "swimming is the closest I can come to being part of it", says Dina.
So she stays the course that she set as a tot, her first marathon swim as a teenager. Then the pro circuit. The triple crown under her belt, she's ticking off the Oceans Seven... a small hiccup in the North Channel last year won't stop her.
The way that Dina describes the culture and even the solitude in being one of the only sea swimmers in her hometown of Split, Croatia, makes me want to get on a plane and visit when travel is an option again, of course.
I hope you enjoy this episode! (See the video just below)
Interview with Dina Levačić, Split, Croatia, conducted by Mrs. Shannon Keegan
Dina Levačić, Croatian marathon swimmer born in 1996 in the city of Split, is the first Croatian woman to have swam across La Manche (34 km, 2017). She also swam marathons like
Hernandarias - Parana (88 km, Argentina, 2014)
Santa Fe (57 km, Argentina, 2014)
The Catalina Channel (34 km, Los Angeles, USA, 2017)
20 Manhattan Bridges (46 km, 2017, USA)
Molokai Channel (42 km, Hawaii, USA, 2018)
Tsugaru Channel (connecting the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, Japan, 2019), etc.
She swam her first marathon of 2 km in 2005, at the age of 9, in the town of Omiš near Split.
The first Croatian man to have swum across La Manche (in 2004, at the age of 64!) was legendary Veljko Rogošić, an idol of Dina Levačić. In 2008 Rogosic swam 171 km marathon from Sicilia to Africa, and reached Africa's Cape Bon in Tunisia. He started the first marathon from Europe to Africa on his 67th birthday! In the summer 2005 he swam almost 1,000 km along Croatian coast (from Savudrija to Rt Ostro in Konavle) in less than two months, at the age of 64! Also, this is the ultra-marathon swimming world record (880 km in 222 hours, in 57 etapes in less than 58 days). He was the first one to have swam the distance of 200 km without interruption. From the town of Grado near Trieste in Italy to Riccone near Ancona he set the world record of 225 km in long distance swimming (during this swim he lost 16 kg).
Dina Levačić describing her swiming across Tsugaru canal in Japan, speaking in Croatian
Dina Levačić in Catalina Channel, Los Angeles, USA, 2017
Dina Levačić speaking for Croatian TV
Dina Levačić in Zagreb, speaking in Croatian
Dina Levačić swiming from Omiš to Split, 25 km
Dina Levačić in Japan, 2019. The same year, she completed her studies at the University of Zagreb, specializing at the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation.