Too Cool…International Ice Swimming Association

Too Cool…International Ice Swimming Association

While people of all ages, abilities and walks of life have been ice swimming for centuries around the world, their numbers have been extremely limited. But the International Ice Swimming Association is serving as a global catalyst to attract many more people to the sport. Under the passionate leadership of Ram Barkai, the International Ice Swimming Association (IISA) has not only formalized how to swim a sanctioned, supervised Ice Mile, but it has also instituted and encouraged significant safety standards and recommendations.

For ice swimming is a seriously risky for the unprepared and the unknowing. More than mind over matter, acclimatization to such frigid temperatures is intense and hard-core. But with a website, an emerging online presence and Ice Mile ambassadors on 5 continents, the growing legions of ice swimmers is taking winter by storm.

But the IISA is not only about ratifying events and Ice Miles, its mission is to ultimately encourage people to identify and realize their true potential, both in the water and out.

Barkai’s vision and service is motivating many to find their niche in the open water swimming world. These athletes can excel in a field where most humans could never even imagine, with the ice mile and the generic area of cold water swimming as their specialty. For that creation of specific niche, many swimmers are becoming well-known throughout the world and traveling to places from Canada and Ireland to Scandinavia to Russia.

With inspiration from Barkai and his ice swimming compatriots, the iconic IISA Red Jacket has become the envy of hard-core extremists worldwide. Only those who willingly and successfully swim in water south of 5° (41°F) for at least a mile (1.6 km) can receive the IISA Red Jacket. For its push into the nether regions of the open water swimming world, the International Ice Swimming Association was nominated for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

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.

The nominees for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year are always an heroic and amazing group of individuals with exceptionally inspirational exploits, histories and lifestyles.

In addition to the International Ice Swimming Association , the nominees for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year include a variety of companies, products, services and concepts in the open water swimming world. The nominees include the following:

1. 21 Yaks and A Speedo, Storytelling Life Lessons by Lewis Pugh (U.K.)
2. Amphibia Sports Ring, Simple Silicone Solution For Swimmers (Ireland)
3. Bold & Beautiful, A Pod by the Shore (Australia)
4. Driven, Documenting Distance and Dedication (U.S.A.)
5. FINIS Agility Paddles, Training Tools of the Trade (U.S.A.)
6. Global Open Water Swimming Conference, Culminating In Cork (Ireland)
7. International Ice Swimming Association, Cooling To The Extreme (South Africa)
8. Ocean-navi, Navigating Throughout The Pacific (Japan)
9. Ocean Swimming & Prone Paddleboarding for Athletes with Spinal Cord Injuries (U.S.A.)
10. Open Water Swimming Manual: An Expert’s Survival Guide by Lynne Cox (U.S.A.)
11. Oru Kayak, Origami of the Open Water (U.S.A.)
12. Ouma Academy, Swimming The Sea (Tunisia)
13. Plastic Disclosure Project by Ocean Recovery Alliance (Hong Kong)
14. Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association, Far Forward Thinking In The Ocean (U.S.A.)
15. Swim Smooth, Styling Streamlined Swimming (Australia/U.K.)

Online voting takes place here.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association