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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Matías Ola Taking To The Extremes

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Matías Ola is one of those unique athletes in the open water swimming world. He is an accomplished ice swimmer and well-organized host. He not only puts together inaugural events like the International Winter Swimming Festival Argentina, but also has the charisma and energy to attract sponsors, supporters and the media to the sport.

Perhaps the longest-lasting legacy are his tireless efforts that enable extreme swimmers from all over the world to extend their ice swimming season year-round and to a different continent. While events throughout the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere attracts extreme swimmers from its traditional centers of excellence in the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Russia, China, and throughout Europe, the formal extreme events in the Southern Hemisphere have been largely limited to South Africa.

But with Ola's plans to expand extreme swimming events in his native Argentina, brand-new opportunities open up for ice swimmers and their cold-water colleagues.

For those reasons, Ola's ground-breaking efforts on behalf of ice swimmers were nominated for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.

His nomination reads, "The crème-de-la-crème of the world’s fittest and finest ice swimmers showed up for the inaugural International Winter Swimming Festival, spread out among 3 scenic locations around Argentina. Host and organizer Matías Ola rolled the red carpet for the veteran ice swimmers from England, Ireland, South Africa, Estonia, Latvia, Chile, Argentina and Australia. The 3-event cold-water extravaganza was the first of its kind in the Americas, where the series showcased some the world’s best extreme athletes in Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires, Lago Potrerillos in Mendoza, and El Calafate who were surrounded by glaciers and immersed in water between 0-5ºC. For expanding the global community of ice swimmers to South America and making it a year-round aquatic discipline, for its gracious hospitality of the international community, for Matías Ola’s selection of stunningly picturesque venues to showcase the sport, the International Winter Swimming Festival Argentina is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year. "



Report above is courtesy of AFP covering the Matías Ola-organized 2014 International Winter Swimming Festival Argentina.



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