Experts' profiles - Lewis Pugh
Lewis Pugh

As an ocean advocate and pioneer swimmer, Lewis Pugh has been to the worlds most inaccessible places and hes put his body through unimaginably difficult conditions.

He was born in Plymouth, and moved to South Africa with his family when he was 10 years old. His high school classroom overlooked the Atlantic Ocean; his first long-distance swim was from Robben Island to Cape Town when he was just 17.

Many more swims would follow, while Lewis studied law at the universities of Cape Town and Cambridge, and became a reservist in the British SAS. He left his maritime law practice in London to follow his dream of becoming an endurance swimmer and a passionate voice for conservation of the world's oceans.

He was the first person to complete a long distance swim in every ocean of the world. The first to swim down the drought-stricken Thames. The first to swim across the icy waters of the North Pole and the first to swim across a glacial lake on Mt Everest. To date, he has pioneered more swims around famous landmarks than any other person in history.

All of his efforts have been done to draw attention to the vulnerability and importance of our oceans.

Millions have viewed his talks at TEDGlobal on protecting our oceans. His speech on leadership at the BIF Conference in Rhode Island was voted one of the 7 Most Inspiring Videos on the Web.

In 2010, the World Economic Forum named him a Young Global Leader for his potential to contribute to the shaping of the world through inspiring leadership.


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