International Ice Swimming Association

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Speedo Ice Swim Africa
Speedo Ice Swim Africa warm-up
Speedo Ice Swim Africa start, photo by Jacques Marais
JC Malick wearing the prestigious International Ice Swimming Association jacket
(noun) - The International Ice Swimming Association is an extreme swimming governing body that was founded by Ram Barkai to conduct and govern extreme cold-water swimming events (ice miles) where the maximum water temperature is 41°F (5°C) and wetsuits are not allowed. It was selected as the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

The International Ice Swimming Association conducts the Speedo Ice Swim in the high-altitude (1400 meters) Nuwedam in Fraserburg, Northern Cape, known as the coldest region of South Africa. it is a one-mile swim held in water 5°C or less and also includes a 600-meter qualification swim for those swimmers who will to enter the one-mile event in the future.

Swimmers usually emerged from the cold water of the International Ice Swimming Association events discolored in various shades from the extreme cold, some barely able to talk or walk. However, there are always adequate temporary medical facilities staffed by experienced doctors and nurses at the finish.

The Association oversees and ratifies Ice swims all over the world. Its Fraserburg event is one of the World's Top 100 Open Water Swims.

Contents

World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year

The IISA is nominated for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year award. Its nomination reads,

Ice swimmers are extremists. These athletes come in all shapes and sizes with the unique ability to push themselves farther and colder than other humans and scientists think possible. But nothing is impossible for these hardened groups of extreme athletes. The International Ice Swimming Association, founded by Ram Barkai, promotes, advices, and ratifies individuals who attempt and achieve extreme open water swims in water temperatures under 5°C (41°F). Its standardization of rules, protocols, and procedures are helping to shape the sport of ice swimming. Its growth may someday lead to an inclusion of ice swimming in the Winter Olympics. For its emphasis on safety, for its interest in pushing the physical limits of where ice swimmers can go, for organizing the sport in a global unified manner, the International Ice Swimming Association is a worthy nominee for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

Vision

The vision of the International Ice Swimming Association is as follows:

Members

1. Ram Barkai, 31-Jan-09, Lake Zurich, Switzerland
2. Andrew Chin, 17-Jul-10, Fraserburg Nuwedam, South Africa
3. Kieron Palframan, 17-Jul-10, Fraserburg Nuwedam, South Africa
4. Ryan Stramrood, 17-Jul-10, Fraserburg Nuwedam, South Africa
5. Toks Viviers, 17-Jul-10, Fraserburg Nuwedam, South Africa
6. Theodore Yach, 17-Jul-10, Fraserburg Nuwedam, South Africa
7. Craig Lenning, 10-Jul-11, Brainrd Lake, Colorado, USA
8. Tim Stiff, 23-Jul-11, Fraserburg Nuwedam, South Africa
9. Toni Enderli, 23-Jul-11, Fraserburg Nuwedam, South Africa
10. Philip Emslie, 23-Jul-11, Fraserburg Nuwedam, South Africa
11. Mark van Schaik, 23-Jul-11, Fraserburg Nuwedam, South Africa
12. Ray Butcher, 23-Jul-11, Fraserburg Nuwedam, South Africa
13. Mark de Klerk, 23-Jul-11, Fraserburg Nuwedam, South Africa
14. Henko Roukema, 23-Jul-11, Fraserburg Nuwedam, South Africa
15. Jakob van Rouendal Smit, 23-Jul-11, Fraserburg Nuwedam, South Africa
16. Brad Gale, 23-Jul-11, Fraserburg Nuwedam, South Africa
17. Cecilia Schutte, 23-Jul-11, Fraserburg Nuwedam, South Africa
18. Heinrich Langner, 23-Jul-11, Fraserburg Nuwedam, South Africa
19. Cathy Delneo, 15-Jan-12, Lake Tahoe, Sand Harbor, Nevada, USA
20. Jason Malick, 15-Jan-12, Princeton Harbor, Avalon, New Jersey, USA
21. Karen Rogers, 15-Jan-12, Lake Tahoe, Sand Harbor, Nevada, USA
22. Lelané Rossouw-Bancroft, 15-Jan-12, Princeton Harbor, Avalon, New Jersey, USA

Speedo Ice Swim

The Speedo Ice Swim Africa is a one-mile swim held in water 5°C or less. It also includes a 600-meter qualification swim for those swimmers who will to enter the one-mile event in the future.

The Speedo Ice Swim Africa is the premier stop on the ice swim circuit organized by the International Ice Swimming Association. It is held in Nuwedam in Fraserburg, Northern Cape, known as the coldest region of South Africa. Swimmers usually emerged from the cold water discolored in various shades from the extreme cold, some barely able to talk or walk. However, there are always adequate temporary medical facilities staffed by experienced doctors and nurses at the finish.

Known as "absoluut malligheid" (absolute madness), there are dozens of hardy South African swimmers who annually test themselves in the event.

16 extreme athletes (15 men and 1 woman) successfully completed their ice swim in the 5°C water in an altitude of 1,400 meters at a dam near Sutherland, the coldest region of South Africa. The air was not much help either as it varied between 0-5°C during the event. 19 other hardy individuals completed the 600-meter ice swim which is a qualifier to participate in the Speedo Ice Swim sometime in the future.

"This was an incredible achievement by a group of dedicated swimmers whose mental ability has proven we all have a superhuman within us," said Ram Barkai who was featured on Stan Lee's Superhumans TV series for this ability to swim in death-defying cold water temperatures.

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