What does it feel like to swim wetsuit-free in ice-cold water surrounded by glaciers? For Icelandic ice swimmer Birna Hrönn it’s a form of relaxation and escape. Birna swims in zero and sub-zero temperatures in oceans, lakes and rivers, and has loved cold water for as long as she can remember. Last year, she won her age group at the International Ice Swimming Association Arctic Cup World Championship (1000m freestyle), although being competitive is not her motivation for cold water swimming and she doesn’t enjoy it.
Birna kindly let me quiz her about her passion for cold water swimming for the Q&A below, but I’d also encourage you to check out Endurance Sports TV’s beautiful documentary about her love for ice swimming, Birna: The Woman who Swims in Ice, which follows Birna around her native Iceland which is truly stunning.
Obviously, Birna has years of experience swimming in cold water and has built up her resilience over time, so choose your own water escapades carefully!