Swimmers take icy plunge at China snow festival
January 05 2017 11:23 AM
China swimming
A participant swims in a pool cut from the frozen riverbank as part of a winter swimming competition during the 33rd Harbin Ice and Snow festival in Harbin on Thursday.

Reuters/Harbin

Ignoring sub-zero temperatures and biting Siberian winds, 400 swimmers plunged into an icy river in China's northern city of Harbin on Thursday, the first day of the city's annual ice and snow festival.
Winter swimming, as it is known in China, is enjoyed mainly by middle-aged and elderly people who believe it benefits their health.
Thursday's event saw swimmers from across China and abroad compete in an icy pool cut into the frozen Songhua river.
"Very exciting and pretty happy. My body feels super cool," said Yu Dongbo, a 51-year-old visitor from the neighbouring northern city of Daqing.
The 2017 Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival kicks off on Thursday and runs to the end of February.



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