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Monday, October 3, 2016

The Swim Kid From Down Under

Courtesy of The Swim Kid, Romania/Australia.

Not many teenagers have documentary films made about themselves, but Director Damian Visser and Producer Matthew Scully of Akkordien Films Production in Melbourne, Australia know great subject matter.

Dan Canta, a 17-year-old Romanian open water swimmer, was their chosen protagonist.

The teenager who was born in England to Romanian parents and is raised in Melbourne is the subject of The Swim Kid.

Visser and Scully describe the film as follows: "We follow 16-year-old Dan Canta on his ambitious quest to become the youngest Australian male to swim the English Channel. English-born to Romanian parents, Dan was raised in Australia by his mother and was always encouraged to pursue his dreams.

His journey began at the age of 14 when he made the announcement that he will attempt one of the most difficult open water swims in the world.

Inspiration came in the form of fellow Brighton Grammar School teenager Robert Connor Dawes who passed away following a 16-month battle with an ependymoma brain tumour. Dan learned what true courage and strength was and would dedicate his swim to Connor and help raise money for the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation.

Motivated by his mother Doina and by the inspirational feats of his trainer and world-renowned elite marathon swimmer John van Wisse, Dan devotes his life to preparing for the swim.

As one of the youngest members of the Brighton Icebergers, he braves the freezing waters of Port Phillip Bay in a gruelling 2-year training regime. Dan draws on the incredible stories from swimming veterans Don Riddington, Grant Siedle, Rob Macaulay and Paul Hoffman to help mentally prepare for the crossing.

The Swim Kid is a story of internal strength, a battle of the mind, body and soul, and a will to succeed against all odds

He succeeded.

Canta was the first Romanian to complete a crossing of the English Channel (14 hours 32 minutes), the first Romanian to complete a crossing of the Catalina Channel (11 hours 13 minutes), and the first Romanian to achieve the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming with his 7 hour 55 minute victory at the 20 Bridges Circumnavigation Swim of Manhattan on October 1st.

His mother Doina explains, "Dan's English Channel Crossing for Connor got him two records including becoming the youngest Australian male. He also did an English Channel relay this July with his 12-year-old younger brother and myself.

Dan started open water swimming not even four years ago. He joined The Icebergers Brighton and swims everyday since including throughout the winter without a wetsuit. He has very good mental strength, but he will have no big swims coming next year as he will focus on getting high score for law university

For more information on the The Swim Kid The Official Dan Canta Story, visit here.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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