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Ger Kennedy

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Ger Kennedy was the expedition leader of the Antarctica 2020 International Swim, a series of solo ice swimming challenges and environmental swims inside the Antarctic Circle (66°33′46.5″ south) that was nominated for the 2020 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year
Ger Kennedy was nominated for the 2019 WOWSA Awards in the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year category
Ger Kennedy taking an ice bath to prepare for the Ice Kilometer at the International Ice Swimming 3rd World Championships in Murmansk, Russia in March 2019
Ice swimming inside the Antarctic Circle (66°33′46.5″ south) to celebrate Lynne Cox's pioneering Antarctica 1.7 km swim in Neko Bay in 2002 and to celebrate the 200-year anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica by Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb Thaddeus von Bellingshausen
Ger Kennedy was nominated for the 2016 WOWSA Awards, a recognition of outstanding men, women, performances and offerings around the globe sponsored by the World Open Water Swimming Association in the category of World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
Ger Kennedy swimming at Myrtleville Beach in Ireland. Photo by Siobhan Russell
Gerard Kennedy recovering from an ice swim at 0.8ºC
Gerard Kennedy in the Lena River in Yakutsk, Russia where he completed a 52m Under Ice Swimming challenge in water -1ºC (30.2ºF) and air approximately -13.8ºC (-7.6ºF) in March 2016
Ger Kennedy completed the Ice Bath Challenge in -1ºC (30.2ºF) ice water for 60 minutes in Dublin, Ireland
Ger Kennedy completed the Ice Bath Challenge in -1ºC (30.2ºF) ice water for 60 minutes in Dublin, Ireland
Locations of the Ice Sevens swims, a concept co-created by Ger Kennedy and Steven Munatones

Ger Kennedy (also Gerard Kennedy), born 15 November 1969, is a 50-year-old Irish open water swimmer from Wicklow whose nickname is Dr. Ice.

2020 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year Nomination

Kennedy led the Antarctica 2020 International Swim that was nominated for the 2020 WOWSA Awards in the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year category with the following nomination: The Southern Ocean is at the bottom of the world surrounding the continent of Antarctica. Inhospitable to humans, but remarkably, Ger Kennedy organized a series of ice swims accessible around the ice-covered tundra to some of the most hardened ice swimmers on the planet. Antarctica 2020 International Swim was held inside the Antarctic Circle to celebrate Lynne Cox's pioneering Antarctica swim in 2002 and enable people to swim short distances or Polar Ice Miles. From Argentina, the Polar Swimming Quest set off by ship and stopped in the Bellingshausen Sea and the Weddell Sea over a few weeks. 12 swimmers entered the cold waters of Antarctica with bioprene only with three major swims safely recorded. Paul Eugen Dorin Georgescu set a world record in Hanusse Bay in 0.0°C water with 22 minute 44 second Zero Ice Mile. Two days later, Ger Kennedy swam another Zero Ice Mile in Paradise Bay in 0.53°C water and -1.10°C air in 34 minutes 2 seconds, and Cath Pendleton followed up 10 days later in Hanusse Bay with a 32:54 Zero Ice Mile in 0.03°C water and -3.2°C air. For safely organizing swims by Kathryn Pratschke, Redy Redfern, Dee Newell, Jane Hardy, Tiffiny Quinn, Michelle White, Una Campbell, Martina Ring, Anne O'Donovan, Matías Ola, and Alice Kelliher in Antarctica with the help of Sean Cullen and Dimcea Lulian Zamfir, for encouraging marine conservation awareness while encountering challenging conditions, and for enabling the extension of the known physical boundaries for everyone involved, the Antarctica 2020 International Swim by Ger Kennedy is a worthy nominee for the 2020 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

2019 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year Nomination

Kennedy was nominated for the 2019 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year award with the following nomination:

Ger Kennedy, known as Dr. Ice, is among the most accomplished athletes in the world of extreme sports. After an eclectic professional career on dryland, Kennedy has transitioned his physical talents, grit and creativity to the ice swimming community. His innate charisma and buoyant personality make his ability to withstand incredibly cold conditions looks so easy. In addition to pushing himself in Under Ice Swims, Ice Baths, Polar Ice Miles, and Ice Mile Zero, he achieved the Ice Sevens Challenge by completing 7 different Ice Miles in Ireland, Norway, Siberia, Morocco, USA, and Australia that culminated in a 2,800-meter high altitude lake in Chile. He also helped organize open water events and Ironman triathlon swims in his native Ireland. For becoming the first man to complete the Ice Sevens, swimming's most extreme physiological, psychological and logistical challenge, for mentoring and inspiring swimmers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to achieve their own dreams, and for serving tirelessly and charismatically as an event director and ambassador of the sport, Ger Kennedy is a worthy nominee for the 2019 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.

Open Water Swimming Career

Videos



Courtesy of Bolot Bochkarev


Video by Pádraig Mallon at the 2015 Ireland Ice Swimming Championships, hosted by the Camlough Lake Water Festival at Wild Water Armagh (Conroy Pond) in Northern Ireland.


Ger Kennedy and Allen Evans completed a 24-hour charity swim in Dublin, Ireland for Epilepsy Ireland.


Ger Kennedy with Ned Denison on Open Water Wednesday on 8 April 2020.

Antarctica Polar Zero Ice Mile


Ger Kennedy complete a Polar Zero Ice Mile in 0.5ºC water and 2.0ºC air temperature in Paradise Bay, Antarctica in February 2020 during the Antarctica 2020 event.

2 km at 0ºC


Kennedy joined the 2fer0 Club, swimmers who have completed a 2 km non-stop open water swim in water temperature at 0ºC that includes Lynne Cox (USA in 2004), Alexander Brylin (Russia, 2012), Andrey Sychyovv (Russia, 2012), and Henri Kaarma (Estonia, 2014).

Ice Sevens Challenge

The Ice Sevens Challenge or Ice Sevens is the ice swimming equivalent of the Oceans Seven. Created by Ger Kennedy and Steven Munatones, to achieve the Ice Sevens, a swimmer must complete a 1 km swim under standard ice swimming rules (i.e., no wetsuit and no neoprene hat) in a man-made pool or in the open water in the following locations:

o An Ice Mile swum below 5ºC (41ºF) in any location in Europe
o An Ice Mile swum below 5ºC (41ºF) in any location in Oceania
o An Ice Mile swum below 5ºC (41ºF) in any location in Asia
o An Ice Mile swum below 5ºC (41ºF) in any location in North America
o An Ice Mile swum below 5ºC (41ºF) in any location in Africa
o An Ice Mile swum below 5ºC (41ºF) in any location in South America
o An Ice Mile swum below 5ºC (41ºF) in any Polar location at 60º south or below or 60º north or above

With one important caveat, one of the seven Ice Miles must be a documented Zero Ice Mile (defined as a solo mile swim performed at below 1ºC).

Ger Kennedy Ice Sevens Swims

1st Ice Mile in Europe in Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow, Ireland on 24 February 2013, 1 mile in 3.3°C water in 40 minutes in a freshwater glacier lake
2nd Ice Mile in Mikkelvik Brygge, Karlsøy, Norway (Polar Ice Mile) on 6 March 2017, 1 mile in 2.5°C in 34 minutes 5 seconds in a sea water Norwegian fjord
3rd Ice Mile Zero in Asia in Tyumen, Siberia, Russia on 9 December 2017, 2 km in 0.5°C in 43 minutes 10 seconds in a 25m 3-lane ice pool called the lake of champions
4th Ice Mile in Africa in Lake Ouiouane, Mid-Atlas mountains of Morocco on 6 January 2018, 1 mile in 3.7°C in 37 minutes 10 seconds in a high altitude lake at 1630 meters
5th Ice Mile in North America at M Street Beach, Boston, USA on 22 February 2018, 1 mile in 4.7°C in 32 minutes 15 seconds in the open sea
6th Ice Mile in Oceania in the Thredbo Reservoir, NSW Australia on 1 June 2019, 1 mile in 2.8°C in 38 minutes 2 seconds in a high altitude fresh water lake at 1440 meters
7th Ice Mile in South America was held in Portillo, Chile on 4 October 2019, 1 mile in 3.9°C in a high-altitude freshwater glacier lake at 2,880 meters

2016 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year nomination

Kennedy was nominated for the 2016 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year award.

Ger Kennedy is one of the world's grittiest, guttiest swimmers specializing in The Ice. His phenomenal 52-meter Under Ice Swimming challenge in -1ºC (40.2ºF) water in Yakutsk, Russia is an example of how the Irish ice swimmer loves to push his body and mind in myriad ways - and help others do the same. He completed an hour Ice Bath Challenge and raced in various Ice Swimming Championship events from above the Arctic Circle to Tyumen to Lake Windermere. He also tirelessly organized the Great Wicklow 10 km Swim, the Petrified Forest 6 km Open Sea Swim, the Dublin Night Swim on behalf of the East Coast of Ireland Open Water. Whether it is Ironman swims in his native Ireland or ice swimming around the world, Kennedy lends a helping hand, a friendly eye, and a watchful eye for those who seek his advice. He also conceived of the Ice Sevens Challenge, the cold water swimming equivalent of the Oceans Seven. For his under-freezing-water swim in the Lena River, for helping others achieve their open water dreams, for his creativity in establishing the Ice Sevens, Ger Kennedy is a worthy nominee for the 2016 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.

2016 World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men

Kennedy was named to the World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men in 2016 (alphabetized by last name) by the World Open Water Swimming Association:

1. Dr. Doron Amosi, extreme relay/cross-border swimmer from Israel
2. Antonio Argüelles Díaz-González, channel swimmer and endurance athlete from Mexico
4. Cyril Baldock, marathon/channel swimmer from Australia
4. Ram Barkai, administrator, event organizer and ice swimmer from South Africa
5. John Batchelder, butterflying marathon swimmer from USA
6. Nejib Belhedi, marathon/stage/boat pull swimmer from Tunisia
6. Alexander Brylin, channel ice swimmer from Russia
8. Luc Chetboun, extreme relay/cross-border swimmer from Israel
9. Salvatore Cimmino, amputee advocate and marathon/extreme swimmer from Italy
10. Jean Craven, marathon/extreme swimmer from South Africa
11. Ned Denison, IMSHOF administrator and marathon/ice swimmer from Ireland
12. Craig Dietz, disabled open water swimmer from USA
14. Ben Enosh, extreme relay/cross-border swimmer from Israel/USA
14. Udi Erell, extreme relay/cross-border swimmer from Israel
15. Stephen Junk, channel swimmer from Australia
16. Henri Kaarma, event organizer and ice swimmer from Estonia
16. Ger Kennedy, ice, underwater and extreme swimmer from Ireland
18. Craig Lenning, marathon/channel/ice swimmer from the USA
19. Neil Macaskill, extreme/cross-border swimmer from South Africa
20. Pádraig Mallon, escort pilot, event organizer and marathon/channel/ice swimmer from Ireland
21. Ingemar Patiño Macarine, channel/marathon swimmer from the Philippines
22. Andrew Malinak, administrator and cold water/marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
24. Chris Marthinusen, extreme/high-altitude swimmer from South Africa
24. Patrick McKnight, marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
25. Allan McLeland, Peak and Pond swimmer/climber from the USA
26. Darren Miller, channel swimmer and event director from the USA
26. Rohan More, marathon/channel swimmer from India
28. Gullupilli Narhari, extreme relay swimmer from India
29. Matías Ola, event organizer and ice/extreme swimmer from Argentina
40. Kieron Palframan, ice/extreme swimmer from South Africa
41. James Pittar, blind marathon/channel swimmer from Australia
42. Javier Mérida Prieto, disabled Triple Crown swimmer from Spain
44. Lewis Pugh OIG, ocean advocate and ice/extreme swimmer from the UK
44. Oded Rahav, extreme relay/cross-border swimmer from Israel
45. Stephen Redmond, channel/marathon swimmer from Ireland
46. Adrian Sarchet, marathon/channel swimmer from Guernsey
46. Ori Sela, extreme relay/cross-border swimmer from Israel
48. Dan Simonelli, coach/guide/observer and marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
49. Paramvir Singh, extreme relay swimmer from India
40. Albert Sobirov, ice swimmer from Russia
41. Petar Stoychev, marathon/channel/ice/Olympic swimmer from Bulgaria
42. Ryan Stramrood, ice/extreme swimmer from South Africa
44. Martin Strel, marathon/stage swimmer from Slovenia
44. Dr. Otto Thaning, channel/marathon swimmer from South Africa
45. Jacques Tuset, prison island swimmer from France
46. Toks Viviers, ice/extreme swimmer from South Africa
46. Adam Walker, coach, event organizer, and channel swimmer from England
48. Christof Wandratsch, event organizer and ice/marathon/channel/professional swimmer from Germany
49. Brenton Williams, event organizer and butterfly ocean swimmer from South Africa
50. Herman van der Westhuizen, extreme high-altitude swimmer from South Africa

Block On North Channel Double Attempts


Interview with Caroline Block about her North Channel two-way crossing attempt

Swimming with Shivers

He wrote a story for Swimming With Shivers, a book co-authored by Claire Bunker-Fellingham and Gary Standen about true stories from, by and about open water swimmers doing cold water swimming, winter swimming, and ice swimming. The stories in Swimming with Shivers are from, by and about Carl Atkinson, Deborah Banks, Ram Barkai, Jo Barkwith, Andy Bennett, Katie Blair, Sylvia Bland, Gideon Bright, Claire Bunker-Fellingham, Judith Charman, Sze-Ming Cheung, Chillswim, Tracy Clark, David Coleman, Phil Coombe, Talbott Crowell, Ned Denison, Nick Dorey, Dryrobe, Ros Edmonds, Rory Fitzgerald, Daniel Gilmore, Will Glendinning, Gone Swimming, Rebecca Goodson, Julie Gregory, Shaun Hales, Happy Cold Swimming, Louise Hazelton, Colin Hill, Elaine Howley, International Ice Swimming Association, Roni Jelgavas, Mark Johansen, Jody Jones, Ele Jump, Ivan Lewis, Julie Lloyd, Jules McRobbie, Sally Minty-Gravett MBE, Jaimie Monahan, Steven Munatones, Diane Murphy Weaver, Jim Nyberg, Barry O'Connor, Outdoor Swimmer, Simon Parkin, Lisa Peake, Kevin Proctor, Jane Saycet, Val Smith, Fergal Somerville, Jodi Songhurst, Gary Standen, Lucy Stansfield, Kate Steels-Fryatt, Swimming With Smiles Book, Tidal Wave Fitness, Jonty Warneken, Karen Weir, Haydn Welch, Samantha Whelpton, Emily Whittaker, and Nicola Wood.

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