More than 500 winter swimmers from around the world gathered at a competition in Jiagedaqi District in the Greater Khingan Mountainous Area of northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province from Monday to Tuesday.
A total of 72 teams from different countries including China, Russia, the U.S. and the U.K. participated in the competition. The age of the swimmers ranged from 15 to 76.
On Monday, the temperature dropped to minus 29 degrees Celsius, but it didn’t phase the swimmers one bit.
“We came from Russia to take part in the competition in Jiagedaqi. We really like it here, although it’s very cold, but the people here are very nice, which is great,” said a Russian winter swimmer.
“The water here is extremely cold and biting. We pushed ourselves to the limit. We will definitely take part in next year’s competition!” said Liu Yafu, a Chinese winter swimmer.
“We come from Guangzhou and the lowest water temperature in Guangzhou is about eight or nine degrees Celsius. But the water temperature here is minus 30 degrees Celsius, we have never swum in such cold water before. After swimming, our bodies got warm, so we all felt very comfortable and happy,” said Liang Huixian, another Chinese winter swimmer.
The contestants were divided into three groups, according to their ages, and the competition had three events which are freestyle, breaststroke and relay.
In addition, a local swimming team and the teams from Russia, the U.S. and the U.K. gave diving performances during the competition.