• Rediet Tadele

This 12-year-old Swimming Prodigy Swam from Saint Lucia to Martinique

On October 10, a 12-year-old swimming prodigy achieved what few adults have. Christophe Maleau swam 13 hours, 50 minutes and 47 seconds from Saint Lucia to the village of Sainte Anne in Martinique, his home country. The journey was a tremendous feat, covering 40km of unpredictable waves but Maleau prevailed.


Maleau adds his name to a shortlist of swimmers who have accomplished this swim. French Olympic and European swimming champion, Giles Randy and Martinique swimmer Jacques Sciot are the only two before Maleau to have achieved this.



Maleau is a swimming prodigy and has already won several championships and taken part in a multitude of races. According to The St.Lucia Times, Marleau completed a 10-hour swim between Diamant and Schoelcher in Martinique in 2018. He also completed a 6.4km swim in 2017. Maleau has won several championships including the 500m freestyle, 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke, 200 butterfly, and 400 freestyle categories.


The young swimmer was swimming for a cause. Maleau was swimming to raise awareness for Breast Cancer and in support of his mother who is reported to have breast cancer and is currently in the remission stage. October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, dedicated to raising awareness about Breast Cancer and supporting those with Breast Cancer.


Maleau is quoted saying, “I was hungry at times during the crossing, I sometimes wanted to stop because I was tired. But when this idea crossed my mind, I told myself that I had no right. I had to continue for the cause I was defending.” Maleau was supported every step of the way by his father, divers, doctor, family members, and the media who followed beside Maleau on a boat.


“It was he who ended up encouraging me,” confides his father Sylvain, who followed him in a kayak. "At the end, there was swell, bigger waves and of course, I was a little worried. But when he looked at me, I felt he was fine. He didn’t want to give up. It was out of the question. So he continued in freestyle to wave his arms with a simple pair of pool goggles on his nose.”


Maleau was greeted warmly with cheers and applause when he arrived at Sainte Anne. Upon arrival, he was immediately checked by doctors to make sure he had not sustained any injuries while swimming. This journey would have not been possible without practice and determination from Maleau. According to Archyde, Maleau had 3-4 training sessions per week for 2 years.


Maleau has achieved so much before the age of 13 and has hopes of competing in the Olympics one day. Given his track record, we are confident we will see him accomplish that goal!


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