Finland was the host of the 9th World Winter Swimming Championships in 2014. The northern country of numerous lakes and natural beauties was certainly a great venue.
1,245 swimmers attended this popular and growing event in the Lapland city of Rovaniemi, close to the Arctic circle. Competitors came from far and wide, for example, Finland, Russia, Norway, South Africa, Slovenia, Brazil and Australia. The World Winter Swimming Championships is held every second year while past venues include Latvia (2012), Slovenia (2010) and London (2008). (We organise our own trips in Slovenia, so know it is a fantastic venue!)
The popular competition began with 450m endurance swimming and ended with relays. In addition to this there were two other categories of breaststroke and freestyle. We try to participate at such events and be part of this amazing winter swimming growing trend. Our guide, Aleksander, successfully swam into the 25m breaststroke final. We are proud that he got 9th place. Congratulations Alex!
Since this article was written, we have attended other winter swimming events. The popularity of the sport has grown and we are happy so see so many people taking to the water. We have had several ‘ice mile’ swimmers and athletes on our trips. We think cold water swimming is an exciting discipline and hope to see further developments.