Winter swimming is more than just a polar bear plunge | WBEZ
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Winter swimming is more than just a polar bear plunge

You might have heard about polar bear plunges, but winter swimming is different. It’s a serious, competitive sport and it’s growing in popularity. Swimmers compete in the cold, in fact, The International Winter Swimming Association requires that the water temperatures must be (41 °F) or below for competitions. In places like Tyumen, Russia, which held a recent competition, temperatures outside can dip to -22F. We’ll hear how competitions are structured and find out more about the history of the sport with Melissa O’Reilly. She’s the 2014 Winter Swimming World Champion in the 450m freestyle and the current female World Record holder in the 1000m freestyle. She’s also one of the founding members of the United States Winter Swimming Association. She joins us to tell us more about the sport. PHOTO: Courtesy of Melissa O'Reilly

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