(February 18, 1969—November 10, 2009)
He's kinda fat and more than a little rude (and he drinks like a fish). But long-distance swimmer Martin Strel has become the world's most unlikely philanthropistout to save the world's dirtiest rivers a million awkward strokes at a time.
Turkey, Croatia, Slovenia/Austria, Slovakia
His lurching gait is painful to watch, a cross between Frankenstein and a penguin. He has not told his doctors, because if he slips he goes straight back into the wheelchair.
A tough-as-nails cadre of Russian and Ukranian speleologists wriggles and blasts its way to caving's grand prize: the mythic 2,000-meter mark