At an age where all of us are bothered about eating and walking, Bhakti Sharma, an Indian open water swimmer, had begun swimming at that age, YES! WHEN SHE WAS JUST 2 YEARS OLD!!! The youngest and only second in the world to swim in the four oceans, is all of 28 years of age. She was born in Mumbai and brought up in Udaipur and has done her postgraduate course from Bangalore.
Her swimming journey began with her winning various accolades at district and state level competitions which made her mother encourage her to try open water swimming. This led to her swimming from Uran port to the Gateway of India, a 16 km swim, in 2003.
Adding to her list of victories, she went on to swim the four oceans- Indian, Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic covering eight different water bodies. She individually crossed the English channel in 2006 in 13 hours 55 minutes at the mere age of 16. Her list also includes, the only mother – daughter duo to have even swum across the English Channel, in 2008. She also won the Lake Zurich swim in 2006, swam 25 kms in the 2007 USA Swimming Open Water Championships in Florida, won a gold medal in Marathon swim around the Key West Island, Atlantic Ocean. This made her the first Asian swimmer to participate in three major American Swimming events. In 2015, she became the youngest person in the world to swim in the Antarctic ocean for 2.28 km in 41.14 minutes.
This, in turn, led to her getting invited to speak at various events at IIT Kanpur, TEDx Udaipur, SIBM-Bangalore, NMIMS amongst other ones. In 2012, she received the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award from the President, Pranab Mukherjee for all her achievements.
Her journey from swimming in the pools to swimming in open waters was not at all easy and she went through such difficult times that almost made her gave up but she DID NOT!! She went on swimming for her country despite all the odds and she now aims to win a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan.
Let’s wish her all the luck in the world! You go, GIRL!