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9-Year-Old Completes Record-Breaking Swim

He swam from SF to Alcatraz Island and back
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2016 12:19 PM CDT

(Newser) – Nine-year-old James Savage may have a new Guinness World Record under his belt. The California boy swam from the shore of San Francisco to Alcatraz Island and back on Tuesday, becoming the youngest swimmer to complete the two-mile trip, per NBC News. A 10-year-old boy previously held the record after completing the swim last year. Savage—whose swim was streamed online—says he wanted to give up 30 minutes into the two-hour swim as the waves kept hitting him in the face. But his coach and a fellow swimmer who kayaked alongside him "kept yelling, 'I believe you can do it,'" James tells KSEE.

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"I was so happy for him," James' mom says. "I'm most proud of what it took for him to get here." James had previously completed one leg of the journey but trained six hours a day to complete the full swim. His dad promised him $100 when it was all over, but handed over $200 because of his son’s effort. "The waves were a lot bigger than I expected," James says. "At first, I was kind of scared." A Guinness World Records rep says there's no official world record for the swim but the group will review James' feat, per the Merced Sun Star. Meanwhile, James' next swim will be easier, but only slightly. He plans to swim the 1.7-mile length of the Golden Gate Bridge. (Read more California stories.)

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