KAATSU Users Among The World’s Most Extreme Athletes

KAATSU Users Among The World’s Most Extreme Athletes

For who? athletes
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery

Photos courtesy of Kelvin Trautman, English Channel, UK.

KAATSU users come from all walks of life from youth to people as old as 104. But KAATSU users also include plenty of outliers from big-wave tow-in surfers and mountaineers to channel swimmers and Olympians. These extreme athletes use KAATSU for athletic performance, rehabilitation from injury, and recovery from intense workouts.

One KAATSU user – a famed British ice swimmer who lives in South Africa – lives a life on the extremes.

In 2017, Lewis Pugh was named SAB Environmentalist of the Year, included in The Sunday Times Alternative Rich List for people who represent the most inspiring side of humanity, and appointed as an Adjunct Professor of International Law at the University of Cape Town.

In 2015, he received a Doctor of Science (honoris causa) from Plymouth University, was selected by Men’s Journal as one of 50 Most Adventurous Men in the World, was named as one of the Greatest Watermen in Open Water Swimming History by the World Open Water Swimming Association and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.

In 2013, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, was appointed as the United Nations Patron of the Oceans, was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, and became an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

In 2011, he became a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London and received the President’s Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Previously, he was appointed as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, awarded the highest honor in South Africa – the Order of Ikhamanga (Gold Class) for his exceptional sporting triumphs, humanitarian feats and creating consciousness about the negative effects of global warming, received the Best Project for the Environment by Beyond Sport Awards, named the Out There Adventurer of the Year, became a Fellow of The Explorers Club in New York, received Sports Adventurer of the Year Award by the French Sports Academy.

In the ocean, he swam 1 km without a wetsuit across the North Pole to highlight the melting of the Arctic sea ice. Up on Mount Everest at 5,300 meter altitude in 2°C water, he swam 1 km across a glacial lake without a wetsuit to draw attention to the melting of the glaciers in the Himalayas. He swam a number of unprecedented swim in the Ross Sea off Antarctica and helped establish the largest marine reserve in the world by melding consensus among 24 nations and the European Union. He has also swum from Robben Island in South Africa, across the English Channel, around Cape Agulhas (the southernmost point in Africa), the Cape of Good Hope, the Cape Peninsula (a 100 km swim from Cape Town to Muizenberg), Lake Malawi in Africa, North Cape (the northernmost point in Europe), 204 km down Norway’s Sognefjord, a 1 km at 80° North around Verlegenhuken, a 1 km swim at 65° South at Petermann Island off the Antarctic Peninsula, 325 km down the length of the River Thames, 140 km across the width of the Maldives, and won the 500m race at the 2006 World Winter Swimming Championships in Finland.

After graduating at the top of his Masters class at the University of Cape Town, he read International Law at Jesus College in Cambridge and worked as a maritime lawyer in the City of London while serving in the British Special Air Service. He later spoke twice at the TED Global Conference as a master storyteller and addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos and wrote two books: ‘Achieving the Impossible’ and ’21 Yaks and a Speedo’.

In 2003, Pugh left his maritime law practice to campaign full-time for the protection of the oceans. He often addresses Heads of State and business leaders on the topics of climate change, overfishing and pollution and the need for Marine Protected Areas and low carbon economies. Pugh is currently considered one of the world’s most influential individuals tackling plastic pollution – and his influence may increase with his latest exploit – an unprecedented 560 km swim along the length of the English Channel.

Pugh’s stage swim is scheduled to start in July and may take up to 50 days to complete.

“We’re drowning in commitments; it is high-time for action,” said Pugh. “I am embarking on this swim to highlight importance of proper marine protected areas – areas where human activity such as fishing, drilling, shipping, gunnery practice and disputing marine life is restricted and/or prohibited.”

The totality of UK waters include 750,000 square kilometers, but only 7 square kilometers are fully protected marine reserve. It within the southernmost coastline where Pugh will conduct his stage swim as a plea to create additional marine protected areas that offer one of the best options to maintain ocean health and avoid further degradation, especially when developed as part of a wider management solution.

Pugh is swimsourcing his Channel swim. “I want politicians, mums, children, businessmen, anyone to join me for any section of the swim. There is nothing better than seeing the impact of our wrongdoing with your own two eyes.”

He plans on 10+ km swims per day, but that distance will be dependent upon the conditions that will range from enjoyably tranquil to turbulent.

Surfers Against Sewage, a grass-roots organization engaged in cleaning up beaches in the UK with 75,000 volunteers will support Pugh’s effort.

“We must stop the plastic from entering our rivers and seas. And we must create a series of marine reserves around the UK,” says Pugh who plans to take his swimsourcing campaigns to other shores around the world in the future. “Anyone is welcome to join me for any section of this swim.”

The Channel Swimming Association will observe and officially ratify the unprecedented swim.

For more information, follow Pugh here.