By Fatima Al Najem
Manama, Dec. 4 (BNA): International Marathon Swimmer Chloe McCardel, has arrived to Bahrain to participate in IRONMAN 70.3, with marathon legends Mo Farah and Mark Cavendish.
"I’m humbled to be invited to be part of the legends celebrity triathlon team as a part of the Iron Man 70.3 event that’s happening this weekend," said the Australian Champion, McCardel.
McCardel expressed her gratitude for being in Bahrain for the third time, after participating four years ago with HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa in his marathon swim from Saudi Arabia to Bahrain.
She showed great excitement for meeting the legends, and the local participants in the event on December 5-7 in Avenues Mall hall.
"I’ve asked specifically if I can meet some local Bahraini athletes, and especially the swim team because I feel very connected with the sport. I’m really looking forward to hearing their stories on the development towards Olympics next year and beyond and share my success in my marathons swimming career," the athlete told Bahrain News Agency (BNA) upon her arrival in Bahrain.
Chloe praised the Kingdom's desire to boost sports and to promote the status of women in the region throughout all activities organized by their highnesses Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad and Shaikh Khalid.
“I heard that the role of women in leadership in politics and business is really valued in Bahrain. Women in leadership is something that is very important to me and so I would love to chat more about that when I meet all female participants."
Talking about her achievements, McCardel said she hadwon many medals for English Channel swimming.
"I’ve swum in the English channel 31 times. Most Australians learn how to swim at the age of 3 to 5, and I started learning to swim at 10. So, I was in an older age, but I love swimming so much, so from then I got into competitive swimming but it wasn’t until I turned 21 that I realize that I could potentially be the best in the world at marathon swimming. I used my specialty to focus on marathon swimming so that I could reach the highest heights and inspire as many people as I could on the way," she said.
On October 2014, McCardel completed an unprecedented swim from South Eleuthera Island to Nassau, Bahamas, a distance of 124.4 kilometers in 41 hours, 21 minutes.
She set a new world record, longest unassisted ocean swim, conducted under the ‘Rules of Marathon Swimming’. This swim was officially ratified by the Marathon Swimming Federation (MSF).
The world's champion attempted to be the first person to swim across the Straits of Florida from Cuba to Florida without using the protection of a shark cage. This swim was done to raise funds for three charities; the CanTeen, Can Assist and Swim Across America.
When asked about her opinion of combining raising funds for charities and sport events, she said: "I think It’swonderful when athletes have the opportunity to fund raise for charity in relation to a sporting achievement. It’s a great way to connect with a local community and to promote the charity whatever work they do, and also in some cases to raise funds for these charities that may not have a high profile. Athletes get out there and spread the word about the charity. In 2013, I raised money for cancer charity and research for breast cancer because my mom has been through that, that’s why it's very special to me."
Her inspiring statement showed her admiration for this sport and her desire to push all women out there to do their best.
"I love pushing my boundaries, my limits in sport, and I love inspiring other people to reach their big goals, and overcome obstacles along the way," she said.
"Women and young women around the world t are a particular focus of mine, because I believe that we have so much potential, so much to give, and we just need to support each other, to find opportunities to take out sport or a professional careers or whatever out inside to the next level. It’s really a keen interest of mine to be here be able to meet so many locals."