Veljko Rogosic, 63 well-known Croatian marathon swimmer
swam between 43 and 45 kilometers in 11 hours and 27 minutes.
Dobrila Stella, Ivan Smircic, Aug 16, 2004
translated by Hilda M. Foley
The best known Croatian marathon swimmer, 63 year old Veljko Rogosic from Split, swam across the La Manche Channel Sunday night. He needed for this feat 11 hours and 27 minutes. In spite of very bad weather conditions the Croatian marathon swimmer succeeded at his second try to cross the sea passage which connects the Atlantic Ocean with the North Sea, while rain, driven by strong winds that raised high waves, accompanied him all the way to his goal, causing him quite some physical difficulties. Practically the same weather conditions occurred a year ago, when Rogosic tried crossing La Manche for the first time. In spite of his very good physical condition and excellent health, Rogosic was not able at that time to cross the sea passage between France and England, because it was judged that such a try would be too risky, in effect, life threatening for our marathon swimmer.
A few months later Rogosic nevertheless succeeded this great undertaking, commenting about it with these words: "You cannot even imagine what it was like. Frightening. I thought my very soul would come into my mouth". Rogosic said that the unfavorable weather conditions exhausted him to such an extent, that the accomplishment of this undertaking was only thanks to the great physical but also psychic exertions in which he invested. "I am very happy, though it was difficult and indeed dangerous to enter a sea the strength of four bofors. Still it became the most difficult for me after four hours of swimming when I started vomiting in spite of the tablets, and I thought then that all is finished" said Rogosic, emphasizing that many have tried to talk him out of the attempt to swim across La Manche, telling him that such an undertaking very few could accomplish.
Rogosic emphasized that four more marathon swimmers, including a woman, attempted the crossing, and all of them accept for himself and an American gave up in the middle of the Channel, where the sea strength reached seven bofors. "I crossed La Manche and I must say that this is one of my most difficult marathons, not because of the extreme cold, but because of the vomiting that caused me such difficulties that I thought I will suffocate. I am so physically exhausted that after this success I could not even drink a drop of liquid" said the overjoyed Rogosic, adding that the route he managed to swim is between 43 and 45 kilometers.
Rogosic is the world's four-times first place winner in the swim marathon and winner on all Continents.
The "King of cold waters" , as he is called by the press, is inducted in the International Hall of Sports Greats in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Rogosic was 142 times Yugoslavia's leader in various disciplines, and topped 52 times the country's record. He swam across the Nile, Michigan, Cook's Passage, Ontario, La Plata, Missouri and Mississippi and on the Adriatic alone he swam 22 marathons. Previously he was also twice first place leader in the Balkans, while, looking at the rank lists of the best time, he is listed as fourth in the world in the crawl style at 1500 meters. According to the official count of his swimming miles Rogocic circumvented the globe six times. The Croatian marathon swimmer was congratulated for his achievement by president Mesic this Sunday.