See the Russian swim club that bathes daily in frigid river
Saturday, January 9, 2016, 1:21 PM - While polar plunge participants brave frigid waters for one day of the year, this Russian swimming club embraces a freezing cold Siberian river daily.
Suitably, they call themselves Cryophiles, after organisms that thrive in the cold. The club has about 300 members ranging in age from months old to 79. They meet at a small wooden clubhouse on the banks of the Yenisei River, the largest river system flowing to the Arctic Ocean.
"The moment of immersion is a sensation of delight. Afterwards there's a rush of energy and my entire body feels relaxed," chairman of the club Mikhail Sashko told Reuters. "My wife says I am crazy."
During the elongated months of the Siberian winter, these swims take place in air temperatures of minus 30C or lower.
Some members say regularly bathing in the cold water has been beneficial to their health. Sixteen-year-old Yulia Klimenkova says the ritual helped her get over a respiratory virus.
To 71-year-old Vladimir Khokhlov, "it's like a drug."
"I can't live without bathing daily in cold water... if there's no river nearby I have to find another way to pour cold water over myself from head to foot," he told Reuters.
While others swim to briefly check out of the hustle and bustle of life.
"All problems leave me," says Mikhail Shakov, "The world around me seems beautiful."
Here are some photos of the Cryophiles:
Cryophile-winter pic.twitter.com/IeKtv7eooA— Boateng Duka Kofi (@DukaKofi) January 8, 2016
Nastya Usachyova, 9, and her mother Natalia, 39, members of the Cryophile winter swimmers club, warm up before swim… pic.twitter.com/9TCIYjlyGS— grégory polosecki (@gpolosecki) January 8, 2016
Ice 'n' freezy does it: The Cryophile winter swimming club in Siberia pic.twitter.com/vNqq6CUvvf— RobertRobi (@Robertdreco) January 6, 2016
Must-see: Truly extreme ice jumping, from Russia