Josef Köberl (Austria) – World Open Water Swimming Association

Josef Köberl is a Guinness World Record holder who is redefining human’s ability to withstand cold water while serving as the President of the Ice Swimming Association Austria.


Josef Köberl set a nearly impossible goal, a high-altitude Ice Mile, and nearly achieved in the glacial crevasse in Austria’s Hintertux Glacier. He fell spectacularly close, but retired at the 1,511-meter mark, short of the Ice Mile distance of 1,609 meters due to hypothermia. The multiple Guinness World Record holder swam 38 minutes at an altitude of 3,216 meters (10,551 feet) in -0.23°C water. He also serves as an International Ice Swimming Association official and as the event director of the International IC Altenwörth ice swimming event.

Why he was nominated

For pushing the envelope of cold water endurance and high-altitude swimming, unfathomable only until his attempt, and for serving to conduct safe and challenging ice swimming events for others.




Man of the Year


Josef Köberl

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  • TeresaB



    Not “just” an outstanding athlete but one with a social agenda – in times like these it’s more important than ever to care for people less fortunate than us – like fellow humans without a home.

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