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Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Salvatore Cimmino Breaking Barriers On The World's Stage
He has swum 17 km across Lake Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) in Israel, 21 km across Trieste/Koper in Italy/Slovenia, 42 km down the Rio Paranà in Argentina, 15 km through the Sumidero Canyon in Mexico, 20 km in Vancouver in Canada, across the Cook Strait in New Zealand, 20 km in Brisbane, Australia, 40 km across Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and is preparing himself for a 48 km circumnavigation around Manhattan Island in New York this June.
His swim around Manhattan will be both a culmination of his world-wide tour of stereotype-breaking swims and a continuation of his awareness campaign.
"Starting from my disability, I developed this ambitious project in order to break down all the barriers that prevent people with disabilities a real integration, as well as a full, dignified, satisfying and productive life. The goal can be achieved through the liberalization of the technologies of the leading research centers for becoming the subject of programs, as well as accessible to people with disabilities."
On June 28th Cimmino will begin his last leg of his long journey and successful tour of the world in New York City. The United Nations will organize a round table to support his message. "I hope that all of the highest representatives of science, industry, high-tech, and politics will be at this table, and that all together in synergy will be able to trace a path that contributes to the independence of people with disabilities, making our world accessible at all."
The Italian Embassy at the United Nations has been very supportive of Cimmino's endeavor.
But it is truly at the grassroots level where Cimmino has touched the hearts of many people including those with disabilities due to warfare, injuries and illnesses. When he crossed Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, local handicapped shop owner Kalindi Dunia Blaise said, "We came to accompany Salvator. It is truly miraculous, never seen nor heard. Before we came, many people did not believe he would swim for all that long because he is disabled. We just witnessed a miracle today. Before, I thought I could not do much. But when I see what Salvator Cimmino has done, I have the hope to do great things, too. Because even some able-bodied people here in Goma cannot swim 43 kilometres. It really gives me a lot of courage."
Daniela Bas, Director of the Division for Social Policy and Development with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs is organizing a panel discussion at the UN headquarters called “Sport for Inclusive Development: empowering persons with disabilities trough sport and technologies” and it would take place at the United Nations Headquarters a few days after Cimmino's swim around Manhattan. "The panel discussion will help raising awareness on the needs of persons with disabilities and it would emphasize the commitment of the United Nations in achieving a society for all."
"We must have the will to create a different world, with equality, democracy and real and genuine opportunities in terms of well-being for everyone. An inclusive world where disabilities are valued and celebrated," says Cimmino who is using his swimming skills to help make a significant difference in the world.
For more information, visit here. His nomination for the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year is below:
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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