Thousands of swimmers brave unusual cold for traditional “Christmas Cup”

Thousands of swimmers brave unusual cold for traditional

Thousands of swimmers dressed as superheroes or other characters of all kinds threw themselves into the waters of Lake Geneva in Geneva on Saturday to take part in the traditional “Christmas Cup”.

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Some 4,000 amateur and professional swimmers registered to take part over two days – Saturday and Sunday – in this annual race, which has been taking place since 1934. “Every year we break records,” said Christophe Jacot, president of the Christmas Cup organizing committee. “There, we see 4,000 swimmers, there are requests for more, and there is already a waiting list for the 85th edition!”.

With water below 9°C to -2°C

On Saturday morning, some swimmers had giant butterfly wings, others wore Venetian masks and colorful wigs. He threw himself into the water at 8.8 °C with an outside temperature of -2 °C and had to swim 100 meters …

“We are good on the inside but when we go outside…”

“We’re fine with it but when we go out with water on our clothes, it’s not good…”, admits Frédéric, one of the swimmers dressed like his whole team in yellow suits from “Minions”. did. , American-French-Japanese animated film released in 2015.

Assurance of Safety: “You Are Not Swimming Alone”

Christophe Jacot acknowledges that the change in temperature can be brutal, while emphasizing that “there is one safety, you are not swimming alone: ​​you have a problem, you raise your hand, presto, we help you.” Coming to pick it up”. “But the goal is to go all the way,” he said. “When you come out it’s going to sting,” he said, before adding: “You have to breathe in, breathe out, take it easy!”

after the race? Oysters and Champagne

A little further afield, a group of women dressed as pharaohs were popping champagne in a hot tub after the race while eating oysters. It was the tenth time they had participated in the Christmas Cup. “We are starting to know the equipment, what to do afterwards, what to eat during, how to sustain ourselves after the race, we have to regain our strength, we have experience!”, said one of them. Affirming this Christmas the said cup is “Nothing But Joy!”

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the countryside

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