A world-famous long-distance swimmer on Friday joined a swimming activity in Istanbul to encourage people to swim.

Michael Read, an 80-year-old English swimmer known for crossing the English Channel 33 times, swam through the waves on the coast of Istanbul’s Avcilar district.

He said his greatest happiness is to encourage people to the sea, swimming and exercising at sea.

Turan Hancerli, the mayor of Istanbul’s Avcilar district, said he was elated to welcome one of the most important swimmers in the world to Avcilar, and went onto say everyone admired Read’s discipline.

Hancerli said Read would swim 90 kilometers (55.9 miles) from southern Turkey’s Mersin province to Cyprus Island and his achievement medal would be presented by Avcilar Municipality.

* Writing by Fahri Aksut

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