Michael Read, King of the Channel for 22 years, Olympic swimmer representing Great Britain in Rome in 1960, and holder of numerous World Records and honours. These many swimming achievements and honours are listed separately. Mike has also worked tirelessly as an Administrator in the sport, from his early days in 1958 as a committee member of the Brighton Swimming Club, to his election as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Channel Swimming Association Limited in 1999.
His tenure as King of the Channel, 1979-2000, involved 31 crossings that included 18 World Records. In 2001 he lost his title to Kevin Murphy; however, in 2002, Michael completed his 32nd crossing to draw level again with Kevin. In July 2006, Kevin took the title back again with his 34th crossing.
So how did a youngster with polio and asthma progress to such sporting heights? The story behind Mike's success described in his own words in an autobiography dated April 2001.
The photograph shows CSA Vice President, John Jacques, presenting Mike with the King of the Channel Trophy - donated by Letona Foods Limited. The source of the trophy is most appropriate, in that his training involved a Masters degree in Nutrition and Physiology from the University of Reading. While the area-of-study was Avian nutrition, Mike has been able to apply much of this nutritional knowledge to his own swimming - see Mike's advice on Nutrition.
Born in Brighton in 1941, Michael was educated at Varndean Grammar School, and obtained his BSc from Southampton University.
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Created: 14th July 2001
Last Updated: 30th September 2006