The winter swimmers, dressed as Santas, will dive into the icy waters of the sea and have fun during the festive days, in their own unique way, sending the message that nothing is impossible in life, since even ice water is a challenge, if you get used to it, then it becomes a way of life, having multiple benefits for our health as well.
The Christmas custom was also observed by the winter swimmers of the Limassol Nautical Club, who, after putting on their Christmas clothes, dived into the icy waters of the coastal city. Sharing her feelings to REPORTER, the winter swimmer, Georgia Phidias, was asked to answer how she feels about entering the frozen sea. “Joy. A lot of fun. I mean, as soon as I get in the water I have a very beautiful mood and it's something you enjoy. I go to my work later and everyone asks me where I found all the mood and what I tell them is that “they have to come to the sea and then they will understand the difference in their lives”. It's something you get in the water and it changes your whole life”.
Ms. Phidias has been involved in winter swimming for the last nine years, but, as she says, “I was a swimmer since I was little and I used to come to the Limassol Nautical Club and take part in the competitions that were organized. I have been swimming for many years, just for the last nine years I have been involved in winter swimming. It's something I've been enjoying for the last few years to swim in the winter and not just in the summer.”
Regarding the Christmas custom, she explains that, “it is a custom that we do on Christmas Eve as well as on New Year's, with a sleigh on the sea and Santa Claus of course. We combine it with a party held here on the beach, with Christmas carols and our little triangles. It's a challenge to get into the freezing water, but it's a nice challenge and it's something everyone can enjoy. When you start swimming in the summer and continue it, you understand the difference in the water from day to day, but it is tolerable. But if someone decides to enter the water for the first time now in winter, it is impossible to succeed”.
More specifically, the water temperature seems to be tolerable until December. “But from January onwards, the water temperature drops even more. By March, the temperature is much lower, dropping as low as 14 degrees. It's a time where it's up to everyone if they can handle swimming, but until Christmas, anyone can. At the present stage, our water is at 18.5 degrees”.
In fact, citing her husband as an example, Mrs. Phidias, said how “my husband used to go into the water only on August 15 and 16 and we always had the same conversation, as he didn't want the ice water. However, over time, I made him a winter swimmer and today he says thank you for pushing me and not giving up to swim in the winter. It is the best and this is also evident from our health”.
The fact that winter swimmers find themselves in the icy waters every day makes a special impression. “We come very early in the morning, that is, from 5:30 we are in the water. Our group consists of about fifty people and in our groups you will meet different ages, up to 75 years old people. The younger ones are measured though. Everyone is welcome to join us in swimming during the winter months and people need to know that you find your health by swimming and you don't get sick very often. It is the best for all of us”.
However, as she pointed out in view of the festive atmosphere, “getting into the water dressed as Saints is something unique, as you want to do something to be in the atmosphere. We put on our caps, our garlands, dress up as Saints and enter the water on a sleigh to send the most resonant messages to the world”.
See below rich photographic material and videos from the winter Limassol swimmers during the holidays
PHOTO CREDITS: @Loukia