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updated: 8/17/2013 11:59 AM

Chicago officer completes swimming's Triple Crown

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Associated Press

CHICAGO -- English Channel? Check. Swimming around Manhattan Island? Yep.

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On Tuesday, Chicago police officer Nial Funchion checked off another grueling swim, traversing the channel between Catalina Island and the Southern California coast.

And with that he became one of only about 70 athletes to complete what's known as the Triple Crown of open water swimming.

The routes represent a combined 70-plus miles.

Funchion tells the Chicago Sun-Times he was motivated by a former police colleague who was paralyzed in a car accident.

During a chance meeting three years ago, the fellow officer told Funchion that he admired him for swimming the English Channel in 1992.

Funchion dedicated his latest swim to the Brotherhood for the Fallen. The Chicago organization helps families of officers killed in the line of duty.

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