Stanley V. Paris, PT, PHD, Brings Four-Person Relay Team to Victory During Final Leg
ALEXANDRIA, VA, August 24, 2009 — Physical therapist Stanley V.
Paris, PT, PhD, FAPTA, age 72, member of the American Physical Therapy
Association (APTA), successfully swam the English Channel as part of a
four-person relay team on Thursday, August 6, 2009.
Paris, who swam four times during the relay, helped bring the relay
team to a victorious crossing of the English Channel in 13 hours and 25
minutes. "These are the kinds of moments I live for, a real challenge
that I was not expected to make," Paris said.
Paris, a last-minute substitution on this relay team, swam the final
leg and brought the team to victory when one of the team members was not
able to reach land during his swim. Making his way through outcroppings
of tall rocks, Paris reached the French shore at Cape Gris Nez, the
nearest point to England and the narrowest in the Channel where the
currents and waves were the most difficult. "I wanted to stand on French
soil 'with no water beyond," Paris said. After climbing onto a rock on
the shore, Paris signaled his boat and "the ship's horn blared- we had
successfully swum the Channel!"
Paris, who made two successful solo crossings and one successful
relay crossing in the 1980s,was also managinga six-person relay team
from the physical therapy department of the University of St. Augustine
for Health Sciences in St. Augustine, FL, an institution for physical
and occupational therapy education founded by Paris in 1979. The relay
team successfully swam the Channel on Friday, August 14, led and coached
by APTA member and physical therapy student Teresa Sebastian of
Pineville, LA. The team completed the swim in 15 hours and 22
On August 18 Paris attempted a solo swim but was forced to end the
attempt due to severe leg cramps. In July 2008, Paris attempted to enter
the Guinness World Records as the oldest person to swim across
the English Channel. While he was not successful in this record-breaking
attempt, Paris succeeded in raising funds for the Foundation for Physical Therapy's "Destination:
Research Excellence — Roadmap for the Future of Physical Therapy"
campaign. According to Paris, "The physical therapy profession is
working to increase evidence-based practice. The money we raised is now
creating possibilities for promising physical therapist researchers who
push the boundaries of science and ultimately improve the quality of
life for the patients we serve every day."
Photos and details of Paris' journey in preparation for last year's
swim, as well as his 2009 relay team success story are on his blog.
Physical therapists are highly educated, licensed health care
professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore
mobility - in many cases without expensive surgery or the side effects
of prescription medications. APTA represents more than 72,000 physical
therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical
therapy nationwide. Its purpose is to improve the health and quality of
life of individuals through the advancement of physical therapist
practice, education, and research. In most states, patients can make an
appointment directly with a physical therapist, without a physician
referral. Learn more about conditions physical therapists can treat and
find a physical therapist in your area at www.moveforwardpt.com.