Thirsty (for knowledge) Thursday: a World Record Ice Swim?

>> Thursday, January 21, 2021

This vaguely fits within the idea of my "Thirsty (for knowledge) Thursday" posts, but it's too fun not to share. I recently came across this article about the amazing Yekaterina Nekrasov. Here are a few parts of it:

Wearing nothing but a bathing suit, a swimming cap and an underwater mask, the 40-year-old woman plunged into a carved-out section of a frozen Siberian lake, before diving under the ice to swim in water estimated to be around 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Footage tweeted by the English language Siberian Times shows the 40-year-old woman from Moscow entering the carved-out section of a frozen Lake Baikal, before she started the underwater ice swim.

Yekaterina Nekrasova, who took up free diving four years ago, then held her breath for a minute and a half as she covered the 85 meters (279 feet) of a frozen Lake Baikal on January 7 -- the Russian Orthodox Christmas Day.

She is believed to have set a world record with her attempt. A spokeswoman for Guinness World Records told CNN they have received details of Nekrasova's attempt but have yet to verify the landmark swim.

Footage filmed from above the surface shows members of her support team following behind in wet suits, in case of emergency. According to the Siberian Times, holes were cut in the 10-inch-thick ice at regular intervals in case she needed to abort the swim.

The challenge was filmed from both above and beneath the surface. Nekrasova can be seen descending a ladder, then following a route marked by a cable for a minute and a half. At the end she exits the water by climbing up another ladder.

Here are few pics of Nekrasova and her swim:







Here's more about hte swim:

Ram Barkai, the founder of the International Ice Swimming Association, told CNN he and a team of four Russian ice swimmers covered an above-surface "ice mile" in Lake Baikal at 40.1 degrees Fahrenheit back in 2017.

By comparison, Nekrasova is a free diver -- which means she held her breath for the duration of the swim at close to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, under a sheet of ice.

He said: "The water there is as fresh as one can get -- salinity of zero. Meaning you are heavier in the water and you feel the cold a little more than in salt water.

"It is a magical place, Lake Baikal. The water visibility is also amazing, crystal clear water and you can see forever. That is a good factor for safety."

Of Nekrasova's achievement, he said: "The water should have been close to zero, which makes it extremely hard on your muscles. She swam without any assistance -- gliding very efficiently. It was amazing to watch her.

"Eighty-five meters is a very long distance in warm water with no ice sheet above your head. Although she had a line to show her direction and distance, she wasn't attached to anything, with few ice holes on the way. Typical hardcore Russian style."

Here's the twitter post with parts of the video (if the embedded tweet doesn't play below, check it out directly on Twitter with this link). You need to check out this 77 second video. The middle of this where she's under the ice is just surreal, and I love how she just comes up and calmly says "I'm OK" when she's done:


According to Guinness World Records, the record for the longest swim under ice is held by Dane Stig Severinsen, who swam 250 feet in Greenland in 2013.

The record for the longest female swim under ice is 229.659 feet and was achieved by South African Amber Fillary in Oppsj√ł, Norway, on February 29, 2020.

Nekrasova's swim was supposedly 85 meters, or around 279 feet. That means she may have the longest underwater ice swim of any male or female ever.

For more "Thirsty Thursday" posts that highlight workouts, body science, and all kinds of interesting information, CLICK HERE. As always, back with some "Friday Funnies" tomorrow.

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