Lewis Pugh is one of the world’s leading inspirational and leadership speakers and an authority on how to achieve the “impossible.” He has pioneered swims in the most challenging environments on earth, including the Antarctic, the North Pole and the Himalayas, and developed an understanding of the beauty and fragility of life and its many ecosystems. He was the first person to complete a long-distance swim in every ocean of the world. He was the first to undertake a swim across the icy waters of the North Pole and the first to swim across a glacial lake on Mt. Everest. In a career spanning 30 years, the maritime lawyer has pioneered more swims around famous landmarks than any other swimmer in history.
Lewis is a leading figure in efforts to protect our oceans. In 2016 he played a pivotal role in creating the largest marine reserve in the world in the Ross Sea off Antarctica. The media coined the term “Speedo Diplomacy” to describe his efforts swimming in the icy waters of Antarctica and shutting between the USA and Russia to help negotiate the final agreement.
Lewis is a vivid storyteller. He talks about the methods he uses to undertake swims, which were deemed “impossible” – choosing the right team, meticulous preparation, the right mind-set, never quitting, and changing when circumstances dictate. He also talks about having a driving purpose, which for him is to protect our oceans. TED describe him as a “master story-teller” and his speech at the 2008 Business Innovation Forum in Rhode Island was voted as one of the “7 Most Inspiring Speeches on the Web”.
Lewis has received numerous awards. In 2010, he was selected as a Young Global Leader by the Economic Forum, and in 2013, the United Nations appointed him as the first UN Patron of the Oceans. Lewis was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and was recently named National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year. His book Achieving the Impossible is an international best seller.