International Ice Swimming Association USA Launched

International Ice Swimming Association USA Launched

Courtesy of Ram Barkai, International Ice Swimming Association.

A long-term goal of the International Ice Swimming Association (IISA) under the guidance of founder Ram Barkai is to have the Ice Kilometer as an official event in the Winter Olympics. Inclusion as an Olympic event is part of its overall strategic growth plan of the IISA – and part of that strategy is to get the IISA USA well established – especially since the major broadcaster and financial partner of the International Olympic Committee is the American television network NBC.

Barkai’s announcement today of the inaugural board of directors of the IISA USA is an indicator that his plans are on schedule. He explains, “We had a tremendous amount of interest from swimmers from all over the United States [about the establishment of the IISA USA]. Thank you all. It’s great to see a positive spirit in times like this and your support to our crazy sport – Ice Swimming. After various rounds of evaluating nominations and talking to people, we came up with the new IISA USA board. We couldn’t accept everyone, and we had to take various factors into consideration.

Thank you very much to those raised their hands and ended up not being on the first board. The ICE is young and there will be plenty of opportunities to participate in growing the sport in the U.S. and internationally. I would like to introduce the first IISA USA board and wish them good luck.”

Joe Zemaitis and the team will take it from here. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rena Demeo who, in her own quiet way, kept IISA USA afloat and active since she took over the country admin role. She will work with Joe and help him with her knowledge to grow the ICE in the U.S.

I also want to thank Jaimie Monahan who helped us with the nominations and selection of the board. Jaime will be there to guide and help when needed. The world is slowly coming out of COVID, and it is a different world. I speak to several countries weekly. It’s been tough out there and still is for many.

I really hope that the ICE with its frozen addictive charm will help us to get swimmers from all over the world to connect again and share our passion to open water swimming and especially its icy side. Your summer is here, our winter is here. I hope we will all meet again, halfway, in Europe for the next IISA World Championship in February 2021 in Poland.

Good luck to Joe and his new team.”

International Ice Swimming Association USA Board of Directors
Copyright © 2021 by IISA
Steven Munatones