This is the karma of small Finnish towns – everything is close, everything is within walking distance, just like in our Karelian Joensuu. So it happens that you going to play with the children to the playground, and accidentally you find yourself in the Finnish Winter Swimming Championships (Talviuinnin SM2020 kisat) 🙂
As for me, people fearlessly swimming in swimsuits among the ice floes are like astronauts – same incomprehensible and divorced from reality. No, of course, I understand all the advantages of winter swimming – they say that these daredevils simply have incredible immunity and health, but … have to undress and jump into the ice water … brrr … I’m not sure that I can do it voluntarily.
However, winter swimming is very popular in Finland, each town has its own “walrus” club, which are called “Jääkarhut” (polar bears). Practically everyone is engaged in it- both adults and children, alternating between ice procedures and trips to a well-heated sauna.
My mother-in-law is also “Jääkarhu”, and she (by the way, she is about 70) likes to swim in the ice-hole in winter 🙂
I distracted from the Winter Swimming Championship … swims usually take place over short distances and are limited in time, after the end of which athletes imposingly, in only swimsuits, follow over the street to a heated water tank, where they warm up and talking with fans.
The fans, by the way, are noisy and active, i did not expect it in such a calm and moderate sport. And the participants are nicest people, for them it is just a hobby, and therefore they willingly share with the guests of the event the secrets and details of their performances.
To summarize … maybe I certainly miss the usual sports crowd, but I liked the Finnish Winter Swimming Championships – everything is extremely democratic, positive and interesting, which reminded me of biathlon competitions during the formation of this sport 20 years ago. So if you see such an event in your area, give a chance to these people from steel to show themselves – they will not disappoint you 🙂