Ice Swimming Hall of Fame - Class of 2020 Announced

Ice Swimming Hall of Fame – Class of 2020 Announced

Ice Swimming Hall of Fame – Class of 2020 Announced

Courtesy of Ned Denison, International Ice Swimming Association.

Cold, there is nothing like it in the open water. Cold water is hard to enter, it is hard to endure, it is hard to recover from,” observed Steven Munatones. “But ice swimming is an entirely different realm. Ice swimmers are special people, specially trained, specially prepared with a mindset that is off the charts. The people honored by the Ice Swimming Hall of Fame are at an entirely elevated level of talent and passion.”

The Ice Swimming Hall of Fame announced its Ice Swimming Hall of Fame Class of 2020, selected by representatives from the world of winter swimming, ice swimming, and open water swimming.

Ned Denison explains, “The objective of the Ice Swimming Hall of Fame is to recognize and honor leading ice and winter swimmers and contributors to the sport of cold water swimming.”

International Ice Swimming Association founder Ram Barkai continues, “The sport of ice swimming is growing quickly with thousands of participants and many mass and solo events in an increasing number of countries. The Ice Swimming Hall of Fame serves as a historic record, identifying and defining heroes and role models for future generations.

The Class of 2020 includes world record holders, champion ice, winter, pool and open water swimmers, Olympians, organizers, and multinational events

* Jackie Cobell of Great Britain, Honor Swimmer
* Fergal Somerville of Ireland, Honor Contributor – Administrator
* Kate Steels of Great Britain, Honor Swimmer
* Petar Stoychev of Bulgaria, Honor Swimmer
* Christof Wandratsch of Germany, Honor Swimmer
* Antarctic Circle Challenge of South Africa, Honor Event
* Murmansk Winter Swimming of Russia, Honor Event

Eligibility into the Ice Swimming Hall of Fame requires that all swimmers and contributors must have an international body of work over a period of more than 5 years – that may increase in time,” describes Denison. “A few exceptions may occur for a single amazing one-time swim which captures global attention.

For swimmers, it is their record of ice and winter swims (5°C and below) and icy swims (above 5°C) including podium finishes in Ice Kilometer races and winter swimming events from 25m to 450m; Ice Miles, inspirational swims in special locations, first-ever swims, altitude swims, and under the ice. All must generally be in traditional open water attire (i.e., togs and not wetsuits).

Honor Contributors includes administrators, organizing bodies, officials, members of governing bodies, media, coaches, environmental awareness and events. The individuals involved in events will not receive a vote for future classes and are listed as Participants in an Honor Event of the Ice Swimming Hall of Fame

The initial selection panel included Paolo Chiarino of Italy, Ned Denison of Ireland, Elaine K Howley of the USA, Pádraig Mallon of Ireland, Leszek Naziemiec of Poland, Kieron Palframan of South Africa, Shelley Taylor-Smith of Australia, and Jonty Warneken of the UK. Their term as the initial voting committee was for the first two years, during which they were ineligible for individual honors.

All honor swimmers and contributors (except Events) will now form the voting committee and the initial selection panel is now eligible to be nominated for the Ice Swimming Hall of Fame.

The Class of 2020 joins the following swimmers and contributors from the inaugural Class of 2019:

* Honor Swimmer and Honor Contributor – Administrator Ram Barkai of South Africa
* Honor Swimmer Aleksander Brylin of Russia
* Honor Swimmer Henri Kaarma of Estonia
* Honor Swimmer Jaimie Monahan of the USA
* Honor Swimmer Lewis Pugh of Great Britain
* Honor Contributor – Administrator Mariia Yrjö-Koskinen of Finland
* Honor Event Bering Strait Relay with individuals from 23 countries
* Honor Contributor – Media Steven Muñatones of the USA

Nominations are typically in the form of a single sheet outlining their accomplishments and contributions together with their contact details. Individuals can be nominated for several categories. A nomination (without being selected) is not intended to be made public, is not considered as an honor from the Ice Swimming Hall of Fame and lobbying for selection will discourage voters.

Please email for a current nomination form along with current timeframe and deadlines.

Nominations will be reviewed for factual content as eligibility is dependent upon swims and contributions which are recognized by the community and are not actively contested.

For more information, photos and detailed biographies for all Ice Swimming Hall of Fame honorees and contributors of the Class of 2019 and the Class of 2020, visit

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Steven Munatones