Extreme Sport: Christof Wandratsch wins Ice Swimming World Championships
The driving snow hits freezing water and exposed flesh; the swimmers are armed only with a pair of Speedos, goggles and a swimming cap.
Christof Wandratsch is submerged in the forbiddingly black water of an 82-foot-long pool, cut out of the thick ice of Semenovskoye Lake in Murmansk, Russia. His brain is screaming at him to get out of the water. His face is numb. His legs feel as if knives are being pushed into them; his hands and feet are alive with pain.
But this is what the German ice swimmer expected—it’s what he’s spent countless hours training for. Although Wandratsch is aiming to beat the six other men in the lanes alongside him, the real battle is going on in his head.