First annual US Winter Swimming Association National Championship in the Hudson River

34 degree water temperatures didn't stop swimmers from jumping into the Hudson River on Saturday.
Dozens took part in the US Winter Swimming Association's National Championship.

For these athletes, extreme cold is the best part of competition.

From the Breast Stroke, to the Free-style, this is the first ever US Winter Swimming National Championship.

“You just resign yourself to the fact that you're going to have to take it as it comes and make the best of it” one swimmer told us.

People were plunging into the Hudson River from all over the world, from as far as Russia and Latvia.

Olivia Bradley, at just 10 years old, is the youngest Coney Island Polar Bear Club member. The group helped sponsor this event.
“You first say you're crazy, and then you're like, you know what, I got used to it, let me just go get this over with" Olivia said.

This was her first race.

“It was very cold. She said. “That's the first part, in the middle of it, I started losing my breath."

With EMS teams watching closely, organizers say the ‘polar swim’ provides plenty of health benefits.

Bill Bradley is young Olivia’s dad.

“It becomes you, helps you control yourself from the inside, and you can deal with other aspects of your life a little better” he said.

“I feel more independent, I'm the only crazy 10 year-old that's doing this" Olivia said.

Crazy enough, not to let a little cold slow them down.


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