The "smiling penguin" of icy waters

This year, the 24-year-old extreme swimmer, Marion Joffle, is the godmother of Ice Swimming in Bréhec in the Côtes d'Armor. This event, organized in February by the Falaises d'Armor tourist office, aims to celebrate winter swimming at sea. Portrait of the so-called "smiling penguin".

Sink or swim

Born in Normandy, Marion jumped into the deep at the age of 8. On vacation in the south of France, she is attracted by a slide but unfortunately cannot use it because she does not yet know how to swim. That year, she learned to swim, discovered a passion for the pool and decided to take part in competitions. It was only 4 years later, during her training in Caen, that the young swimmer discovered swimming in open water.

This is not her only fight because very young, Marion is suffering from soft tissue cancer, an orphan disease. A few years later she came to the end of it with an amputation of the middle finger of her right hand. It is for this reason that she created the association Hell'eau la Vie, which implements sports and cultural actions against childhood cancer.

The dream of her life

In 2017, at the age of 18, Marion set herself the challenge of swimming the English Channel in freestyle. She is not the only one with this desire because since 1975, 15,000 swimmers have tried to achieve this same goal. It is on August 21, 2022 that Marion manages to realize the dream of her life, and goes even further because thanks to her performance (9h22min) she breaks the French women's record for crossing the Channel.

The "smiling penguin" will stop at nothing

In search of new challenges, the young swimmer travels the world through competitions. With the support of her mother, Marion always gives the best of herself and collects victories. For example, in 2018, she became the youngest swimmer in the world to have swum 1,000 meters, or again, in 2022 during a competition in Poland where she won 5 world titles.

Admittedly, this discipline can cause heavy side effects such as the loss of sensation in the lower limbs, but the "smiling penguin" will stop at nothing and always tries to surpass himself.

She is now launching a global challenge: to complete an Ice Mile, a 1,609-meter event, on each continent of the globe. She participates from February 19 in the Ice Mile in Austria.