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Monday, October 21, 2013

Aleksandr Jakovlevs Doing It All In The Extreme

Aleksandr Jakovlevs is Latvian ice swimmer and competition administrator extraordinaire.

The 44-year-old ice swimmer from Jelgava has swum and worked in every Latvian Winter Swimming Championships since 2002 and in every Winter Swimming World Championships and Finnish Winter Swimming Championships from 2006. He organized every Jelgava Seals Cup since 2009 and was the race director for the 8th Winter Swimming World Championships 2012 in Jurmala, Latvia. He also represented Latvia as a competitive ice swimmer at the 1st Russian Winter Swimming Championship in Tyumen, Siberia and at the 2nd China Jinan International Winter Swimming Festival, the Big Chill Swim in Windermere, England, and at the 2nd Scandinavian Winter Swimming Championships in Skelleftea.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: When did your ice swimming career begin?

Alesandr Jakovlevs: I started to swim in cold water in 1996. By 1997, I became as a member of Jelgavas Roni winter swimming club.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What was your role during the Bering Strait Swim?

Alesandr Jakovlevs: I was in the Bering Strait Swim as a swimmer, navigator, judge and advisor.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Were you nervous or worried during any part of the Bering Strait Swim from Russia to Alaska?

Alesandr Jakovlevs: Firstly, when the project was in its preparation phase. Secondly, when it was necessary to unite the team into a single cohesive team and crew. I was wondering if will we have a moral compatibility and if we have all the necessary experience in swimming in the open cold ocean. Thirdly, when the weather changes very quickly, what was our ability to react and take action to determine the correct solutions. Fourthly, do we have enough technical support for a swim was my last concern.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What is your vision for the International Winter Swimming Association (IWSA)?

Alesandr Jakovlevs: The enlargement of activities, new members of the association, improving the quality and professional level of championships by IWSA rules, the scientific study of the effect of cold water on the human body.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What are the practical things that you do to make International Winter Swimming Association successful?

Alesandr Jakovlevs: The International Winter Swimming Association is expanding its field of activities and its championships by attracting new ice swimming members from around the world, as well as participating in many forums, conferences and meetings.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How many countries conduct official winter swimming competitions?

Alesandr Jakovlevs: Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, United Kingdom and Sweden from the International Winter Swimming Association rules.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How many winter swimming competitions are there?

Alesandr Jakovlevs: There are 11 championships around the world.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

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The Other Shore

The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.

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