Ion Lazarenco în competiție

Moldavian and Irish swimmer Ion Lazarenco Tiron completed his sixth Oceans Seven swim with a Tsugaru Channel crossing from Hokkaido to Honshu.

After moving to Ireland in 1997 and taking up a job as a bus driver, Ion Lazarenco Tiron decided to participate in the Oceans Seven marathon – a swimming challenge consisting of seven open water channel races – to raise funds to rebuild what was left of the football field in his hometown of Braviceni, Moldova.

Born and raised in Braviceni, Ion and his peers were inspired by their physical education teacher and played lots of sports. Unfortunately, he started to feel like younger generations had lost this passion for sports — at least until very recently, when Ion decided to do something about it in his childhood village.

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“I am thinking of this country, of its children and their potential,” Ion explained. “Nothing makes me happier than seeing them fulfill their potential.”

Moldovan swimmer Ion Lazarenco planed two years back to cross the Japanese straight Tsugaru, the sixth out of those 7 big straights of the world that he intends to pass. In the end, he was swimming 20 km.

“The weather is quite unpredictable there. You may start in a condition, as it was in Molokai, but half an hour later everything may change. There many currents. The ocean is big, but you have to pass through a small straight,” the sportsman says.

Lazarenco was also invited to swim 47 km around the Manhattan isles, but is likely to turn down the offer, because of money shortage. By crossing straights, Lazarenco gathers money to build sports fields in Moldova.

The sportsman has planned to cross those seven big straights of the world, and has managed pass through all of them: the English Channel, the Gibraltar Straight, the North Channel linking the Irish to the British coasts, the Catalina channel from California and the Molokai in Hawaii. Ion Lazarenco is 38 and lives in Ireland since 1997.