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Saturday, December 21, 2013
Henri Kaarma Explains The Impossible
Whereas most humans would be struggling to merely survive for a few moments at 0.8ºC, Kaarma pushed himself to levels that are unimaginable to anyone but the most elite ice swimmers.
Kaarma swam 2,400 meters - 1.49 miles in water almost ready to freeze - in 41 minutes 57 seconds.
He explains how he did it. "In the start, I was trying not to go too fast and to stay calm despite initial feeling of cold. During the distance, I just tried to do a controlled swim, to be as economical as possible. I looked ahead after 20 strokes to check how far is the wall and which hand will touch the wall. Also, I remember overtaking Zdeněk by 50 meters for every 250 meters. Closer to the end, I noticed my stroke was getting shorter and it was hard to keep track how much have I already swum. I saw a bunch of people walking with me from one end to another and heard cheering during turns so I concluded that the distance must be pretty solid. I remember someone grabbing my hand, but I thought that it's too early for stopping and I can swim more. 50 meters later, I thought that will do for today, climbed up the ladder and men carried me to the sauna."
Scenes from the Tyumen Open Water Swimming Cup including Kaarma's mind-boggling achievement are shown below:
Are these ice swimmers crazy? Are just smarter than the rest of the sporting world on terra firm?
Researchers found that the brains of newborn seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) are large when they are born. The baby seal's brain size is relatively large compared with adult seals and, remarkably 70% the size of adult brains.
What is remarkable about these seals are that they are the only mammal that swims long distances under the sea ice, holding their breath for up to 20 kilometers until they pop up in breaks in the Antarctic ice. Their big brains help them navigate these marathon distances in the icy cold waters at the bottom of the Earth.
So we thought, are there any implications of brain size and the ability to swim in cold waters among humans?
Does that imply that human ice swimmers also have larger-than-average brains? Do their brains enable them to go long distances in extremely cold waters? There are some sharp cookies among the ice swimming crowd, so perhaps they are born with large(r) brains?
Photos shows Henri Kaarma in and out of the water.
Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe 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.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
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