Dutchman who beat cancer to win Olympic gold completes 121-mile charity swim

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Olympic open-water swimming champion Maarten van der Weijden completed a marathon swim along the route of a famous Dutch speed skating race to raise money for cancer research.

Van der Weijden completed the 121-mile swim through canals in the northern province of Friesland in just over three days when he swam slowly into the city of Leeuwarden Monday evening followed by a flotilla of boats and stand-up paddlers.

Van der Weijden has been a Dutch celebrity since winning the open-water 10km at the 2008 Beijing Olympics after surviving leukemia, and has used his fame to raise millions for cancer research.

He completed the swim less than a year after having to give up his first attempt after 101 miles due to ill health.

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