Society & Culture

Memphremagog Winter Swim goes v-v-virtual

DERBY — The Seventh Annual Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival will be going virtual this year.

During the last week of February, winter swimmers from Alaska to Ireland will be joining in.

Organizers say in total around 120 winter swimmers will be participating.

“Since our first winter swim festival in 2015, clans of cold water swimmers have been growing around the country,” Phil White, Director, of Kingdom Games said.

White says many of these cold-water swimmers have been swimming in socially distanced “pods” regularly through the fall and winter as the sport of Winter Swimming has spread across the country and blossomed.

Each location will also be holding a ribbon ceremony to honor and remember family and friends who have battled cancer or another life-threatening disease.

This year the organization has raised over $2,000 for the Halo Foundation, which provides financial support to those in our community who are battling cancer and their families.

“We will dearly miss the congregation of winter swimmers at the EastSide Restaurant in downtown Newport this year,” White said. “But we are thrilled to see the many clans of winter swimmers growing strong and swimming regularly throughout the Fall and Winter all over North America.”

Republished from today’s Newport Dispatch.

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  1. While there are some winter activities that I love like rabbit hunting, and ice fishing, and would miss not being able to partake in, there are a few that I just make me shake my head, and ask why ? Swimming in ice water, and ice climbing are a couple examples of the latter. Why are there EMTs at these winter lake swimming events if the events are overwhelmingly safe ? I was ice fishing on Lake Willoughby one day when a Game Warden came up to me to check my license, and we got into a conversation about all the people climbing up the ice ledges on Mt Pisgah that day. The Warden made the point that if one of them fell, and got hurt that it would take about a half an hour for rescuers to reach the bottom of the ledges, and then if the victim was still alive, he would have to be carried out to the road before he could be evacuated by helicopter to Dartmouth. The risk vs. reward quotient just doesn’t seem to weigh out in the direction that I would consider worth the results. Different strokes, for different folks…..I guess ?

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