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Hardy swimmers take a Christmas dip in Prague's Vlata river

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Hardy swimmers take a Christmas dip in Prague's Vlata river
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Dozens of hardy swimmers took a very cold Christmas dip in Prague's Vlata river on Saturday.

It was the 74th edition of the event which commemorates the life of Alfred Nikodém, who was a goldsmith and a promoter of the Spartan lifestyle.

In 1923 Nikodem and six other enthusiasts plunged into the freezing cold Vltava River as a stunned crowd looked on which sparked an annual tradition.

"The tough part was the Covid test which is a pain, but the water is pleasant, it's nice and biting as it should be at Christmas," Vladimir Chmela said afterwards.

The swim took place under tight anti-virus measures, with swimmers getting tested for Covid-19 and having to wear masks when not swimming.

The Czech Republic, which has a population of 10.7 million, will go into a partial lockdown on Sunday.