Ice swimming is a winter sport which usually takes place in colder countries and is held in waters which are 5 degree Celsius or colder, and for a distance of up to 1.6 km. It is held in countries like the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, South Africa, Scotland, Germany and Poland.
The international federation of the sport IISA is formed by Ram Barkai (South African open water swimmer) together with his swimming mates (Toks Viviers, Andrew Chin, Ryan Stramrood and Kieron Palframan) in 2009 in order to formalise swimming in icy water.
In countries like Eastern Europe and Russia, the sport is a part of the celebration of the Epiphany, but formal competitions of winter and ice swimming also exist. IISA and IWSA (International Winter Swimming Association) organise many competitions with set guidelines including water temperatures below 5 °C, a 25-meter pool often cut out of frozen bodies of water and competitors limited to goggles, cap and standard swimming costume.