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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Ice Mile In Iceland

Courtesy of Iceland TV, Huntington Beach, California.

There has arguably been no one who has swum further or longer in water under 5ºC than South African Ram Barkai.

On New Year's Eve on his first visit to Iceland, Barkai completed his ninth career ice mile, a swim of 1.7 km in 30 minutes.

"This swim is never easy and dangerous, but the swim went very well with professionalism all around and security guaranteed. It was great," said Barkai.

Two paramedics escorted him from his start in Hof in southeast Iceland where he was invited by renowned Icelandic swimmer Bene­dikt S. Laf­le­ur.

"I started better today than I had expected, but after about one kilometer, the wind was tougher to deal with. It cooled down a bit under the water so I decided to stop when I had put in one mile which is the distance I wanted. I feel great to have done this on New Year's Eve in Iceland and is extremely happy with it. Iceland is a very special place to swim."

Barkai swam in Antarctica where the sea temperature was -1ºC. "The conditions today reminded me a bit of [that swim]. The sea very dark; there was no sun and cloudy. Antarctica was very cold, but there was no wind when the day began. However, the wind increased to 20 knots and I cannot say which swim was more difficult than the other.

It was hard to swim today, especially because of the wind. When you are wet and there is so much wind, you feel like you are inside a freezer. This is an extreme sport and you have to be very well trained and be in good physical condition. You need to practice very much for such a challenge. But I would say the swim is 80% mental; your mind is constantly screaming at you to stop

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