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Saturday, February 2, 2019

Imagine This: A World Championship In The Arctic Circle

Video courtesy of International Ice Swimming Association 2015 World Championships in Murmansk, Russia.

Excitement is building for the IISA 3rd World Championship and 1st Arctic Cup that will be held between March 14th - 17th 2019 in Murmansk, Russia.

Sanctioned and organized by the International Ice Swimming Association under the leadership of Ram Barkai and Dmitry Blokhin, the ice swimming world championships will be held outdoors inside the Arctic Circle.

Barkai describes the expected scenario where no neoprene or wetsuits are allowed or even imagined by the world's most extreme athletes, "Outside temperatures are expected to be between -5°C to -12°C with regular snow. Athletes must be prepared to spend the day outdoors by the poolside.

On March 14th, there is an Acclimatization Test Swim for the 500m and 1000m swimmers, a press conference, an ICE conference, and a swimmers briefing.

On March 15th, there are 4 heats of both 8 male and female swimmers competing in the IISA World Championship Ice Kilometer. After the world championship heats, there will be 6 heats of both 8 male and female swimmers competing in the 200m freestyle and 500m freestyle and 4 heats of 8 male and female swimmers competing in the 100m breaststroke and 4x50m country relays in the 1st Ice Swimming Arctic Cup.

On March 16th, there are 7 heats of both 8 male and female swimmers competing in the IISA World Championship Ice Kilometer. Later that evening, the overall winners will be presented in the central square of Murmansk and the age group winners will be honored in the Azimut Hotel.

On March 17th, there are 6 heats of both male and female swimmers competing in the 50m breaststroke, 5 heats of both male and female swimmers competing in the 50m butterfly, and 14 heats of both male and female swimmers competing in the 50m freestyle followed by a gala concert and an awards ceremony and gala reception

Blokhin, Deputy Chairperson of Murmansk City Sports Committee, explained the festivities in Murmansk, the world's largest city in the Polar Circle, "All the swimmers will stay in Hotel Azimut in the center of Murmansk. We will organize visas, accommodations and meals for the swimmers, their supporters, teams, and relatives. The prices are good: US$1 for lunch and US$1 for dinner and breakfast is included in the US$60-80 per night room charges.

We will provide ground transportation, translators during the event, a cultural program and will meet and see swimmers at the Murmansk City airport.

The IISA sanctioned ice swimming events leading up to the IISA World Championships include:

* Bodegraven Ice Swim in Reeuwijkse Hout, Netherlands on February 2nd
* Lake Constance Eisman by Aqua Sphere at the Yacht-club Radolfzell in Germany on February 9th
* Austrian Ice Swimming Championships in Altenwörth, Austria on February 15th - 16th.

The International Ice Swimming Association calendar is here.

The International Ice Swimming Association board of directors who are all leaders in the rapidly emerging sport include:

* Chairman and Founder Ram Barkai from South Africa
* Pádraig Mallon from Ireland
* Jonty Warneken from Great Britain
* Richard Broer from the Netherlands
* Henri Kaarma from Estonia
* Jaimie Monahan from the USA
* Kate Steels-Fryatt from Great Britain
* Petar Stoychev from Bulgaria

For more information, visit www.internationaliceswimming.com with the race schedule here.

Copyright © 2008-2019 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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