Martin Strel


Martin Strel is a renowned professional marathon swimmer, Guinness record breaker and promoter of peace, friendship and clean waters. He has been described as the World’s greatest Marathon Swimmer! He has swum the 5 greatest rivers in the world, the Amazon, Yangtze, Paraná, Mississippi and the Danube.

Martin comes from the small country of Slovenia on the South Eastern part of Europe and spends a good part of his life in the water. He taught himself to swim when he was 6, in a small stream, and became a professional marathon swimmer in 1978. Earlier in his life, he was a successful guitar player. He still plays a guitar nowadays a little. He started out swimming in the World Cup and later doing a great deal of individual swimming marathons. The extraordinary feats of Martin have surpassed the boundaries of sports.

Martin is a man of action in the water and his unique swimming challenges are the inspiration to many people around the world. No man in the history of long distance swimming has done what Martin has done.With his endurance and determination, Martin brings together individuals, nations and even continents. His projects do not focus only on great sports achievements, he also promotes the environmental messages. He drives himself beyond the limits, always looking for new, breath-taking extreme challenges.

He has received many special recognitions. Among the more notable are support from Mr. Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, Dr. William Perry, the former American Secretary of Defense, Mr. Daniel Scioli, the Vice-President of Argentina and others.

When you see Martin Strel live on the stage, you won’t believe he is a swimmer. He looks more like a bear, but after his speaking/acting performance you’ll understand why he has become known as “Big River Man”. Many people still cannot believe what he has done so far, so that’s why they sometimes describe him as “Daredevil”, “Fishman”, “Human Fish” or even “The Craziest Man in the World”. Martin has been featured in many prominent magazines and newspapers from around the world and his swims are covered by the world’s biggest news broadcasters, including CNN, BBC, NBC, ABC and Sky NewsNew York Times compared Martin with Sir Edmund Hillary who first climbed Mount Everest.

American filmmakers are producing a feature-length documentary called Big River Man about Martin’s life and his Amazon Swim challenge. Martin’s book The Man Who Swam the Amazon has been released in many countries.

To book Martin Strel as the keynote speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by emailing or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.

When at corporate events, Martin is known to cover the following topics:

  • Endurance Athletics
  • Marathon Swimming
  • Drive & Determination
  • Peak Performance
  • Dealing With Pressure
  • Problem-Solving