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Bula Chowdhury Profile
- First woman to swim across seven seas in five continents
- First Asian woman to swim across the English Channel twice
- Won Arjuna Award in 1999
- Won Padma Shri in 2009
Bula Chowdhury is an outstanding long-distance Indian swimmer, who has made her mark in competitive swimming. At the tender age of nine, she proved her swimming skills by winning six gold medals in as many events. In a career spanning 24 years, Bula has brought laurels to her homeland as well as gained repute at the international level. In 2004, by crossing the Palk Straits from Talaimannar in Sri Lanka to Dhanushkodi in Tamil Nadu in nearly 14 hours, she became the first woman in the world to swim across seven seas in five continents. Read on to know more about the profile of Indian swimmer Bula Chowdhury.
Journey Towards Fame
Bula Chowdhury developed the passion for swimming at a very early age. Her journey towards fame started at the age of ten. She was spotted by a local coach, when she was swimming in a small pond nearby her home. After recognizing her talent, the coach gave her lessons, by making her swim in the pond and the nearby Hooghly River. After acquiring the skills, she first dived into the Indian pool and then swam into the international arena. She went on to participate at some of the prestigious competitions for swimming, including the SAF Games, the Asian Games, the Asian Championships, friendship meets and more.
Bula Chowdhury swam across the English Channel in 1989. She repeated the scintillating performance in 1999, to become the first Asian woman to swim the channel twice. In 1990, she was awarded the Arjuna Award. On a long-distance swimming spree, she swam across the Strait of Gibraltar in 2000. In the following year, she swam across the Tiranian Sea in Italy, while her target in the following year was the Great Toroneos Gulf in Greece and Catalina Channel in the U.S. In 2003, she swam across Cooks Straits in New Zealand. Bula Chowdhary completed the swim through the Strait of Gibraltar in a world record time at 3 hours and 35 minutes.
Bula Chowdhury tied the wedding knot with Sanjib Chakraborty (an accomplished sprinter) in 1993. The couple has a son - Sarabjit. Bula is now planning to set up a swimming academy in Kolkata, her native place.