Bhakti Sharma (born November 30, 1989) is an Indian open-water swimmer.
Sharma is the first Asian woman and the youngest in the world to set a record in open swimming in Antarctic waters. Sharma swam 1.4 miles (2.3 km) in 52 minutes, at a temperature of 1 °C (34 °F), breaking the record of Lynne Cox (USA) and Lewis Pugh (Great Britain).Bhakti Sharma has swum in all the five oceans of the world, besides swimming in or across eight other seas and channels. She was awarded the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award in 2010.
On January 10, 2015, Sharma became the youngest in the world and first Asian girl to swim in freezing water of Antartica for 2.25 km, beating the record of British open water swimming champion Lewis Pugh and American swimmer Lynne Cox. Sharma swam for 52 minutes, covering 2.25 km distance in the freezing waters of Antartica while the temperature was one degree.
Sharma was born in Mumbai and brought up in Udaipur, Rajasthan. She holds a Master’s degree from Symbiosis International University in Communications Management.
Sharma started swimming when she was just 2.5 years old. After having participated in many State and District Level competitions, her first open water (Sea) swim was a 16 km swim from Uran port to Gateway of India in 2003. Sharma was 14 years old that time.
Sharma is only the third person in the world to have swum across the Arctic Ocean, and recently swam in the Antarctic Ocean to become the youngest to swim in all five oceans.
Sharma’s swimming career in just a little over 10 years is commendable and some major milestones include :
2006: Crossed the English Channel in 13 hours 55 minutes on 6 July at the age of 16 from Shakespeare Beach, Dover England to Callis, France
2007: Lake Zurich Marathon Swim