Cristian Mitrica swims over 20 km in solidarity with Israeli people, across Sea of Galilee

Cristian Mitrica swam, at the beginning of this week, across the Sea of Galilee, in the midst of war, in solidarity with the Israeli people and became the fastest Romanian swimmer to complete this race, despite the health problems he faced, according to the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA).

The time recorded by Cristian Mitrica at the end of the 20.5 kilometer race was 8 hours and 9 minutes, almost four hours less than the time in which another Romanian swimmer, Avram Iancu, covered the same route this year.

“I decided to stay in Israel and swim despite the war to show my solidarity with the Israeli people, to demonstrate that fear should not dominate our lives, because then terrorism would win,” Cristian Mitrica told AGERPRES on Thursday.

He decided to swim across the Sea of Galilee, although, six days before leaving Romania, two doctors diagnosed him with bursitis, enthesitis and tendinitis in both shoulders and recommended rest and physiotherapy for ten days.

“Added to these health problems were the three sleepless nights after Israel was attacked. We were in Tel Aviv at the time of the attack. Adrenaline, driving north or to the border with Jordan to secure a backup option to leave the country, the hundreds of phone conversations disturbed my sleep. For these reasons I had strong cramps in my left leg after the first 20 minutes of swimming and they did not leave me until the end, so I chose to use my arms more,” Mitrica also said.

The official observer of the crossing, Guy Cohen, also recommended him to leave Israel, all the more so since the navigational staff who should have been on the vessel monitoring him was also recruited.

“I’d like to cross another strait from the Ocean Seven project, the seven most difficult straits in the world. Gibraltar is part of this project. I will certainly not cross the North Channel,” Mitrica said.

Cristian Mitrica is an economist by profession and started swimming at almost 37 years old, after a skiing accident. He was on the boat in 2012 with the first two Romanians who, in wetsuits, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar.

Roxana and Liviu Minculeasa were part of the support team that was on the boat that accompanied him in crossing the Sea of Galilee.

At the end of August, Cristian Mitrica, together with Mihai Holban and Florin Tomos, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar in 5 hours and one minute, wearing a neoprene suit. He participated in his first 10km open water swimming marathon two years ago in Italy and came 2nd in his age category.