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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Elina Makïnen Blossoms Into A World-Class Swimmer

Photos courtesy of Nuala Moore of Ireland.

Elina Makïnen, a young Finnish ice swimmer is nominated for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year for her global accomplishments.

Not only did she swim in various winter swimming competitions, but she also participated in the famed group of ice swimmers with Henri Kaarma, Ryan Stramrood, Anna Carin-Nordin, Patrick Corcoran, and Zdeněk Thalmika to complete the 'Fast and Frozen's 2-way North Channel relay across the North Channel from Ireland to Scotland and back to Ireland in 29 hours 57 minutes.

Earlier in the year, Makïnen was non-stop at the Pirita Open, 2015 Estonian Winter Swimming Championships where she first completed the 450m endurance swim in a quick 6 minutes 33 seconds. Then she completed 1,100m in 18 minutes. Then she led off the winning Viimsi Veeklubi relay team with Henri Kaarma, Bruno Nopponen and Andres Olvik.

Nuala Moore observed her competitiveness. "She is such a beautiful spirit and only got out of the water in Estonia as it wasn't fun anymore."

Makïnen competed at the inaugural International Ice Swimming Championships in Murmansk, Russia where her transformation into one of the world's fastest cold water swimmers was clear. "I was born on December 23rd 1993 in Vantaa, Finland. Therefore, I am a winter girl and all winter sports are close to my heart. I did ice swimming a lot during winters as a kid, but after I moved to Joensuu in 2012 I started training ice swimming more seriously and developed a better knowledge of this icy sport.

My team is Joensuun Jääkarhut and I participated my first competitions in 2014 winning the Finnish Championship in the 25m breaststroke and was a world champion at the 2014 Winter Swimming World Championships held in Rovaniemi, Finland in the 25m breaststroke and 25m freestyle.

I have been swimming in warm pools since I was a kid, competing mostly in the 200 individual medley, and later doing triathlons and open water swimming.

In competitive swimming, I enjoyed training long distance, regularly doing 6-8 km in practice 10 times a week. Therefore, I am a very passionate swimmer and I like to push myself to see my own limits. After the World Championships in Rovaniemi, I started to feel comfortable with the thought of me as an endurance ice swimmer. I have enough mental strength, but also common sense to know my safe limits

Her WOWSA Award nomination reads, "Elina Makïnen was non-stop wherever and whenever she competed in ice swimming competitions. At the Pirita Open in Estonia, in solo races at the Finish Championships, Winter Swimming Championships, or on relays at the World Ice Swimming Championships in Russia, she was both a friendly spirit and a competitive athlete. She completed the 450m endurance swim in a quick 6 minutes 33 seconds and covered 1,100m in 18 minutes. She led off the winning Viimsi Veeklubi relay team with Henri Kaarma, Bruno Nopponen and Andres Olvik and participated in the Fast and Frozen, two-way North Channel relay. For her winter charisma, for her mental strength and ice swimming knowledge, for her silver medal performance in the 1000m race (15:12) and her gold medal in the 450m endurance swim at the World Ice Swimming Championships in Russia, Elina Makïnen is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year."

To vote for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, visit the WOWSA Awards here.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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