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Wednesday, February 5, 2014
A Wave Of Winter Swimming Sweeps China
Ratushniy (shown above) is considered to be the Grandfather of winter swimming. A remarkable individual with charisma and character, he still swims and competes at the age of 77. "He walked up and ran down the great Wall of China with the agility of a 20-year-old," recalls Moore.
The Chinese hosts to the visiting foreign delegations were the China Shandong Travel Service. "They have offices worldwide including in Dublin. Our trip was filled with excursions, banquets and travel that money could not have paid for. Every requirement was catered for by Deputy General Manager Jin Jiang, himself a winter swimmer. Each year the itinerary of events just keeps getting bigger and better."
Jiang and his fellow Chinese winter swimmers welcomed like-minded athletes from Ireland, Finland, Estonia, Russia, the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Argentina, Czech Republic, the U.S.A., and throughout China. The competition was the Jinan International Winter Swimming Festival on the eastern province of Shāndōng. "The Jinan competition attracted over 900 swimmers. Despite the water being around the 13-14ºC (55-57ºF) as a result of the natural hot springs some found it cold. But we loved it," described Moore.
"The competitions are graded and have several hundreds in each group. I started my swim wedged between two Chinese breaststrokers. After a few minutes of nearly having a few organs ruptured - they have some leg kick-whip - I sat back and allowed the swimmers to go and just enjoyed the swim as I saw the steam rise as the cold air of -4ºC was stunning."
Zhang Mei, Secretary General of the Chinese Winter Swimming Committee, has over 1 million registered Chinese winter swimmers. Together with her colleagues, including Fu Hongshan of the Shandong China Winter Swimming Association, the sport continues to grow.
Photos courtesy of Nuala Moore.
Copyright © 2014 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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The tide is rising for open water swimming.