11 days and 188 km later, he crossed the finishing line of a swimming marathon across the 5 largest Swiss lakes to raise awareness about the need to preserve them. Here is Noam Yaron, the young swimmer who took up this unprecedented challenge last August through his project “Lakes Odyssey”, supported by Equestrio Foundation.
Just like a fish in water
The story of Noam Yaron is that of a little boy who fell into the magic potion…and never really came out of it…
At the age of 2, he accidentally fell into frozen water, much to the dismay of his mother, who “feared he would be traumatised for life“. You’d think indeed the intrepid youngster would have been in a state of shock. Far from it however… this first dive was nothing else, but the beginning of many long hours spent swimming in icy waters: “Water has always been my element. It’s the only place where I feel totally at ease and free, especially in a lake.” Now 25 years old, the young Morgian is an ultra-endurance swimming champion, an activity that he carries out in parallel to his work as a content creator in the communication agency that he created.
The Lakes Odyssey
Crossing the 5 largest Swiss lakes
Sport and communication – these actually are the two key pillars of his latest challenge: the Lakes Odyssey. After having swept up the record for swimming the length of Lake Geneva in 2021, he has quintupled the stakes by doing the same in the 5 largest Swiss lakes (Lugano, Zürich, Constance, Quatre Cantons and Neuchâtel).
When sport meets nature
Beyond the performance itself, Yoam was pursuing a clear goal: to raise awareness of the water pollution generated by plastic and chemical waste, and particularly by cigarette butts. In spite of their small size, this type of waste is indeed one of the most harmful, with 1,000 litres of water polluted for a single cigarette butt. It was while swimming in Lake Geneva during the winter, when the pools were closed due to COVID, that the idea for this adventure took shape: “Through the clear winter water, I discovered what lay beneath. I realized, after several training sessions, just how polluted the lake was and I decided that I had to do something to raise attention to this disastrous situation.”
The symbol of a generation that chooses action
Making things happen
Through his commitment, the young swimmer also acts as a voice for a whole generation that is rallying and taking concrete action to save our planet: “ By doing things concretely, my goal was also to show that generation Z can make things happen. There is no age limit to making a difference!”
Organisation and determination
Action, energy and determination are the hallmarks of Noam. Combining his altruism with his pragmatism, the young man from Vaud left nothing to chance in the preparation for his adventure: “Organising such a project requires lots and lots of time! Especially in terms of logistics, it’s huge”. It took Noam about a year of work to put all this together. First of all, it was necessary to find sponsors and partners. But also, to anticipate and manage the operational side: booking campsites, renting vehicles to transport the team and also a boat to ensure the safety of the swimmer during the crossing. Equestrio Foundation contributed up to CHF2,058 to finance the rental of this solar-powered boat.
Not to mention, of course, the extremely intensive physical and mental preparation: “3 to 4 training sessions in the water per week, 2 training sessions in the gym and a lot of recovery, the most important part.”
A successful challenge
Struggling against the waves, the cold and exhaustion, while relentlessly staying focused on his goal, Noam successfully took up his sporting challenge, but also that of giving voice to his cause. His adventure has had a wide public impact, generating considerable coverage in the media and on social networks. At Equestrio Foundation we will definitely recall his victorious smile at the end of each crossing, brandishing a cardboard as a trophy featuring his times and the kilometres covered!
Water Lover Challenge
You may think that after such a challenge, some rest would be duly needed? Well, that would be underestimating our water hero who swiftly moved to another feat: the Water Lover Challenge! An operation aimed at encouraging as many people as possible (including the Equestrio Foundation team!) to collect 188,000 cigarette butts during the month of October, as a reminder of the 188 km swam across the lakes. And guess what? Not surprisingly, yet again, the challenge has been met!
Swimmer and dreamer
What’s next? If Noam’s life is already overflowing with challenges, it is also illuminated by many dreams. To begin with, that of meeting Leonardo DiCaprio for whom he holds a great deal of admiration. Would he swim all the way there to reduce his carbon footprint? Well, actually, yes! This is a possibility, as he also nurtures the crazy fantasy of swimming across the Atlantic (and the Mediterranean while we’re at it)! Among his other aspirations, “to renew his awareness-raising operations in other waterways abroad and to teach swimming to children in developing countries “.
It seems that Noam’s magic potion has left him with an implacable taste for challenge! And at Equestrio Foundation, we just love this!