Thailand first participated at the Olympic Games in 1952 and despite winning medals in boxing, weightlifting, and tae kwon do over the years, it is yet to stand triumphant under the Olympic rings with medals from aquatic events. All that might soon change with the destructive Bangkok flooding currently sweeping across the Thai capital providing a perfect opportunity for one anonymous Thai to prepare for Olympic glory in the tradition (almost) of England’s Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards.
The above video, captured in Soi Phaholyothin 52 in the heart of Bangkok, was posted to Instagram by Ratchasit Ketkeaw to highlight the city’s inability to cope with the water run off from the regular frequent deluges sweeping through the city.
In the 21 second video above a Thai man steps up to the curb and then adopts a starting posture similar to the beginning of a freestyle swimming race. At the sound of a whistle he launches himself from the sidewalk into what appears to be about 10cm (about 4 inches) of water cascading along the top of the bitumen (Ed: Do not try this at home).
He then proceeds to cross the submerged roadway using a freestyle-like stroke, before performing a tumble turn at the opposite side of the road, and returning to where he commenced using a combination of backstroke and a form of freestyle that we here at AEC News Today have termed the Siam Crawl, before emerging victorious with a loud whoop and celebratory dance.
|Thai women take dip in a pothole in a road to protest its poor condition. The video went viral and the village got a new road.
Video uploaded to YouTube by: News
This is not the first time that flooded Thailand roads have featured on social media. Last September a group of grandmothers in Khon Kaen Province in Thailand’s northeast took to bathing in large, water-filled potholes the size of bomb craters in the road leading to their village, to highlight the poor condition of local infrastructure.
The video, which quickly garnered hundreds of thousands of views and was broadcast internationally on television, quickly saw the pothole ravaged road repaired… and the villages told to use more subtle methods of airing their complaints in the future.
While fixing the potholed road was relatively easy, managing the water run-off from the heavy rains pouring down on Bangkok seems to be an unachievable task for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), whose Governor, Police General AswinKwanmuang, last Friday apologised for the flooding, saying “I’ve tried my best and truly understand how badly the people are suffering”.
While it is doubtful that Bangkok’s soi swimmer will go on to emulate the achievements of Eddie the Eagle, whether Bangkok emerges from beneath the canals forming along its roadways on a daily basis is equally less certain. Either way, we can’t see the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) rushing to establish a soi swimming event in the near future so until any worthy challenger comes along we hereby proclaim the anonymous Soi Phaholyothin 52 Bangkok flooding swimmer Thailand’s soi-swimming champion, in addition to the creator of the Siam Crawl. Congrats!
Feature video uploaded to Instagram by Ratchasit Ketkeaw