2/21/15: The first ever United States Winter Swimming Championships were held Saturday in Newport on frozen Lake Memphremagog. A 25-meter two lane lap pool was cut out of the ice to accommodate competitors from around the world.
Winter swimming has been popular abroad for decades and has only recently caught on in the States. This was the first event in North America to be sanctioned by the International Winter Swimming Association and it was a collaboration between the United States Winter Swimming Association (USWSA) and Phil White of Kingdom Games, with further ice cutting assistance from Newport Parks and Rec.
The air temperature Saturday was about 15 degrees and the water a frigid 30.4 degrees. Swimmers competed in 25, 50 and 100 meter races, including three hardy Vermonters. Eva met some of the cold water enthusiasts but abstained from participating.