Inaugural Ice Swimming European Championships Set To Run In Oradea, Romania

by SwimSwam 2

January 22nd, 2024 News

Courtesy: International Ice Swimming Association (IISA)

Hundreds of athletes will swim in sub-five degree (Celsius) water during the European Ice Swimming Championship which will be organized for the first time in history in Oradea, Romania.

The competition will take place between February 1st and 4th in the Ioan Alexandrescu Olympic outdoor pool.

Three hundred and twenty participants from 27 countries, including legends of this extreme sport, will race in the frigid temperature.

The opening ceremony of the first European Ice Swimming Championship in history will take place on the evening of February 1 with the parade of the delegations of the 27 participating countries.

“We want this important sports event to be a real show and we are waiting for as many people as possible at the pool to familiarize themselves with the beauty of this extreme sport.”

Entry will be free for the public. The contest will take place on February 2, 3 and 4. In the morning, between 9 am and 1 pm, the qualification heats will take place, and the swimmers with the best eight times will fight for the podium, at night, in the evening session, from 4:30 pm to 6 pm.

“I expect the water temperature to be between 2 and 4 degrees Celsius. Swimmers will have at their disposal, for recovery, two hot baths and a sauna,” said Paul Georgescu, president of the Ice Swimming and Open Water Sports Association

The European Ice Swimming Championship will include classical swimming events, starting from short events of 50 meters in the four known procedures (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly), 100 m in the four strokes, 250 m freestyle, 500 m freestyle and 1,000 m freestyle.

“Oradea is one of the most beautiful cities in Romania, and the infrastructure allows us to have perfect conditions: Large hotels will host approximately 1000 people, including 320 swimmers,” Georgescu said.

“In terms of organization, the biggest advantage is the outdoor pool, which is located a very short distance away from the indoor pool, where we will organize the ‘Ice Village’, where the competitors will prepare for the races,” explained Paul Georgescu.

“Legends” of ice swimming have confirmed attendance.

Among those who will be able to be seen in Oradea are:

  • Petar Stoychev – Bulgaria, 4 appearances at the Olympic Games, world and European champion in the 25 km event, one of the most respected endurance swimmers in the world, with dozens of competitions won in open water and ice swimming.
  • Christof Wandratsch – Germany, the first world champion in the history of ice swimming and European champion in the 25 km event, one of the fastest people in history to cross the English Channel: 7 hours and 3 minutes.
  • Rotislav Vitek – Czech Republic, 17th place in the 10 km at the Beijing 2008 Olympics
  • King and Queen of Ice: Marcin Szarpak, Poland and Alissa Fatum, Germany – The champions of the 1000 meters in ice swimming

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4 months ago

I bet the hot bath or sauna after a ice swim is the greatest feeling in the world.

4 months ago

This is nuts! 1000free in those temps is ridiculous. Takes a special breed for this.