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Henri Kaarma

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Henri Kaarma, inductee (Honor Swimmer of the Ice Swimming Hall of Fame in the Class of 2019
Henri Kaarma at the 2016 Winter World Swimming Championships, photography by Konstantin Soldatov in Tyumen, Russia
Albert Sobirov racing against Henri Kaarma and Christof Wandratsch of Germany in the 1000m race at the inaugural Ice Swimming World Championships in Murmansk, Russia. Photo courtesy of Nuala Moore
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Henri Kaarma, nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, setting a record at the Tyumen Open Water Swimming Cup in Tyumen, Russia
Henri Kaarma, ice swimmer and an Ice Zero Swimmer from Estonia and nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
Henri Kaarma, ice swimmer from Estonia

Henri Kaarma (born 1974) is a renowned ice swimmer and an Ice Zero Swimmer from Estonia who was voted as the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.

Open Water Swimming Highlights

International Winter Swimming Championships

In March 2014 at the International Winter Swimming Championships in Finland when the water neared 0°C, Kaarma completed the following swim without a starting dive entry and without a flip turn:

International Ice Swimming Championship

Karma won his age group at the inaugural 1000m International Ice Swimming Championship in Lake Semenovskoe in Murmansk, Russia in 0.8ºC under the auspices of the International Ice Swimming Association.

2020 WOWSA Awards

Kaarma was nominated for and voted as the 2020 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year with the following nomination: Henri Kaarma started ice swimming out of curiosity. The credit analyst in the banking industry quickly took well to The Ice and has remained one of the icons of the global ice swimming community for over 6 years. Nicknamed The Ice Machine, he competes all over the world freely sharing his experiences and know-how with others, training with friends and teammates, while explaining his passion with the media, swimmers in his native Estonia, and people who just stare at his accomplishments in utter astonishment. The humble Ice Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Swimmer was inducted in its inaugural class with world records and many titles to his credit. For initiating and constantly growing the sport of winter swimming in Estonia including the Pirita Open winter swimming festival, for organizing the Estonian Winter Swimming Championships including a 505-person record-setting mass relay, and for gladly serving as a global ambassador of ice swimming and being a living laboratory of what is physiologically possible, Henri Kaarma of Estonia is a worthy nominee for the 2020 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.

2014 WOWSA Awards

Kaarma was nominated for and voted as the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year with the following nomination: Henri Kaarma is a living laboratory, a medical marvel, and an inspirational ambassador of ice swimming. By swimming further than any human in history in ice water (2.4 km) under unimaginable hostile conditions, Kaarma has extended the boundaries of how far the human body can be pushed. His steely mind and his willingness to help support safe ice swimming are incredible assets, but his unheard-of speed in ice water (nearly 1 minute in 100 meters without flip turns) are indicative of his unprecedented physiological capabilities. Kaarma is shattering what the medical and scientific communities – and fellow athletes – think possible. He travels to Russia, Latvia, Finland, Great Britain and Argentina to demonstrate his talents and to continue to reach his true potential. He also helps others modify their mindsets and explore for themselves what is physiologically and psychologically possible. For his ambassadorial activities in the realm of ice swimming, for his friendly and appreciative demeanor in ice swimming competitions, for his leadership in showing what is possible, Henri Kaarma of Estonia is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year."

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2014 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year Nominees

1. Adam Walker (Great Britain), Oceans Seven Swimmer
2. Allan Lopes Mamédio do Carmo (Brazil), FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup Champion
3. Colin Hill (Great Britain), Race Director & Open Water Ambassador
4. Ferry Weertman (Netherlands), 2-time European Champion
5. Henri Kaarma (Estonia), Ice Swimmer & Cold Water Ambassador
6. Joanes Hedel (France), FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Champion
7. Joseph Locke (U.S.A.), Farallons Freestyler
8. Lewis Pugh, OIG (Great Britain), Ocean Advocate
9. Otto Thaning, M.D. (South Africa), Oldest English Channel Swimmer
10. Phil White (U.S.A.), Outstanding Organizer
11. Tomi Stefanovski (Macedonia), Traversée Internationale du lac St-Jean Co-Champion
12. Xavier Desharnais (Canada), Traversée Internationale du lac St-Jean Co-Champion

2150m Ice Swim

Pirita Open Winter Swimming Festival 2011

2012 Russian Winter Swimming Championships

The Russian Winter Swimming Championships endurance race was conducted on 16 December 2012 in a water temperature of 0.3°C and air temperatures between - 30°C and -33°C. The top finishers were as follows:

1. Andrei Sychev (Tyumen, Russia) swam 2250m in 1:06:15
2. Alexander Brylin (Blagoveshchensk, Russia) swam 2200m in 1:01:43
3. Henri Kaarma (Estonia) swam 1650m in 25:25
4. Nikolai Glushkov (Novosibirsk, Russia) swam 1050m in 21:18

Natalie Gray of Moscow, Russia won the women's endurance race by swimming 1050m total.

2014 World Winter Championships in Finland

Kaarma swam the following times in 0°C water with a dive and without flip turns:

450m freestyle 5.53,55 25m breaststroke heat 17.77 25m breaststroke final 19.02 25m freestyle 13.57 50m freestyle 28.85

Videos



Christof Wandratsch swimming between Paul Smith on left and Henri Kaarma on right while swimming to a 1 km victory in the Big Chill Swim in Windermere, England in the 6.4ºC (43.5ºF) water under windy conditions on 6 February 2016.


1st Ice Swimming World Championships 1 km fastest heat on 20 March 2015 in Murmansk, Russia.
Lane 1 Evgeni Rabinovich
Lane 2 Sergio Salomone
Lane 3 Craig Lenning
Lane 4 Christof Wandratsch
Lane 6 Henri Kaarma
Lane 7 Albert Sobirov
Lane 8 Eduard Khodakovsk
i Behind the camera: Wyatt Song

Bering Strait Swim

Kaarma will also be a member of the Bering Strait Swim, a 53-mile (86 km) relay swim attempt from Cape Dezhnev in Chukotka, Russia, to Cape Prince of Wales in the state of Alaska, USA among a team of experienced extreme swimmers.

World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year

The Bering Strait Swim was selected as the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year in a global vote managed by the World Open Water Swimming Association.

Relay Members in Bering Strait Swim

SWIMMERS
1. Vladimir Chegorin, Russia
2. Maria Chizhova, Novosibirsk, Russia
3. Elena Guseva, Russia
4. Ram Barkai, Cape Town, South Africa
5. Jack Bright, UK
6. Oksana Veklich, Blagoveshchensk, Russia
7. Aleksandr Jakovlevs, Jelgava, Latvia (Starter,Swimmer,Navigator)
8. Matías Ola, Buenos Aires /Tucuman Argentina
9. Henri Kaarma, Tallinn, Estonia
10. Toomas Haggi, Tallinn, Estonia
11. Nuala Moore, Ireland
12. Anne Marie Ward, Donegal, Ireland
13. Toks Viviers, Cape Town, South Africa
14. Melissa O’Reilly (‘Mo’), Lambertville, New Jersey, USA
15. Ryan Stramrood, Cape Town, South Africa
16. Cristian Vergara, Santiago, Chile
17. Craig Lenning, Colorado, USA
18. Rafał Ziobro, Krakow, Poland
19. Andrew Chin, Cape Town, South Africa
20. Jackie Cobell, Tunbridge Wells, UK
21. James Pittar, Australia
22. Paolo Chiarino, Italy
23. Mariia Yrjö-Koskinen, Finland
24. Ivan Papulshenko, Ukraine
25. Zdenek Tlamicha, Czech Republic
26. Zhou Hanming, China
27. Oleg Adamov, Russia
28. Andrei Agarkov, Russia
29. Alekseev Semen, Russia
30. Tatiana Alexandrova, Russia
31. Roman Belan, Russia (Swimmer & Starter)
32. Elena Semenova, Russia
33. Alexander Brylin, Russia
34. Afanasii Diackovskii, Russia
35. Vladimir Nefatov, Russia (Swimmer and Chief Starter)
36. Evgenii Dokuchaev, Russia
37. Oleg Docuckaev, Russia (Swimmer and Chief Organiser)
38. Roman Efimov, Russia
39. Dmitrii Filitovich, Russia
40. Olga Filitovich, Russia (Swimmer & Starter/helper)
41. Victor Godlevskiy, Russia (Swimmer, Starter/helper)
42. Olga Golubeva, Russia
43. Alexei Golubkin, Russia
44. Alexander Golubkin, Russia (Youngest Swimmer at 13 yrs old)
45. Alexsandr Iurkov, Russia (Starter, Swimmer, Navigator)
46. Oleg Ivanov, Russia
47. Pavel Kabakov, Russia Swimmer, starter, navigator
48. Eduard Khodakovskiy, Russia
49. Aleksandr Komarov, Russia
50. Aleksandr Kuliapin, Russia
51. Andrey Kuzmin, Russia
52. Irina Lamkina, Russia
53. Vladimir Litvinov, Russia
54. Andrey Mikhalev, Russia
55. Victor Moskvin, Russia
56. Nikolay Petshak, Russia
57. Sergey Popov, Russia
58. Vladimir Poshivailov, Russia
59. Grigorii Prokopchuk, Russia
60. Dmitrii Zalka, Russia
61. Natalia Seraya, Russia
62. Viacheslav Shaposhnikov, Russia
63. Olga Sokolova, Russia
64. Andrei Sychev, Russia
65. Alexei Tabakov, Russia
66. Nataliia Usachaeva, Russia
CREW
67. Nikolay Khitrik, Russia (Organiser)
68. Lurii Melnikov, Russia (Organiser)
69. Sergei Chernukhin, Russia (Organiser)
70. Irina Makarova, Russia (Interpreter, Starter, helper)
71. Alexey Svistunov, Russia (President of Russian Book of Records)
72. Rafael Valdes Mendosa, Russian (Interpreter, Starter)
73. Evgeny Novazheev, Russia(Kite surfer)
74. Denis Berezhnoy, Russia (Kite surfer)
75. Sergey Semenov, Russia (kite surfer)
76. Mariia Netrebenko, Russia (mass media representative)
77. Viktor Muzhetckii, Russia (cameraman)
78. Vladislav Bochkovskii, Russia (mass media representative)
79. Vladislav Bykov, Russia (cameraman)
80. Dmitrii Timofeev, Russia (research team)
81. Victoria Brylin, Russia (recovery team)
82. Nataliya Fatyanova, Russia (Head of medical group)
83. Irina Zhidkova, Russia (doctor)
84. Aleksandr Gremitskikh, Russia (Chief Judge)
85. Krutikov Konstantin, Russia (mass media representative)
86. Gavriil Ugarov, Russia (research crew)
87. Denis Kabakov, Russia (support crew)
88. Kiriil Zaika, Russia (support crew)
89. Natalia Yael Szydlowski, Argentina (nutritionist)
90. Paolo Adolfo Testa, Argentina (coach)
91. Carlos Eduardo Reges, Argentina (doctor)
92. Anibal Ariel Calderon, Argentina (cameraman)
93. Guillermo Gallishaw, Argentina (cameraman)
94. Alasdair Ross McCulloch, South Africa (cameraman)
CREW OF IRTYSH HOSPITAL SHIP
95. Yason Demeev, Russia (Chief of Hospital)
96. Oleg Revutskiy, Russia (surgeon)
97. Vyacheslav Grigoryev, Russia (traumatologist)
98. Valeriy Koshkin, Russia (dermatologist)
99. Svetlana Gulenkova, Russia (stomatologist)
100. Inna Lesnova, Russia (therapeutist)
101. Vladimir Savinskiy, Russia (doctor of functional diagnostics)
102. Sergey Demyanenko, Russia (Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Diagnostics)
103. Sergey Milovanov, Russia (anesthesiologist)
104. Denis Yakushin, Russia (anesthesiologist)
105. Georgiy Feodoridi, Russia (neurosurgeon)
106. Igor Rogushin, Russia (opthamologist)
107. Yuriy Obraztsov, Russia (infectionist)
108. Oleg Fartushin, Russia (radiologist)
109. Elena Ionova, Russia (pharmacist)
110. Larisa Popova, Russia (nurse)
111. Svetlana Demenok, Russia (nurse)
112. Galina Domnina, Russia (nurse)
113. Tatyana Bolshakova, Russia (nurse)
114. Svetlana Panidova, Russia (nurse)
115. Maya Surgayeva, Russia (nurse)
116. Ludmila Denisova, Russia (nurse)
117. Valentina Shilova, Russia (nurse)
118. Elena Repula, Russia (nurse)
119. Elena Kukurba, Russia (nurse)
120. Elena Sadovaya, Russia
121. Tatyana Nikolaeva, Russia

Video

2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year

Ireland Ice Swimming Championships


Video by Pádraig Mallon at the 2015 Ireland Ice Swimming Championships, hosted by the Camlough Lake Water Festival at Wild Water Armagh (Conroy Pond) in Northern Ireland where he set a new world record, pending approval of the International Ice Swimming Association.

World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men

He was named one of the World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men in 2015 by the World Open Water Swimming Association.

Fast and Frozen

He was a member of the Fast and Frozen open water swimming relay that accomplished an unprecedented 2-way North Channel crossing from Ireland to Scotland to Ireland in 29 hours 57 minutes. They left the shore of Ireland on 27 July 2015 at 7:52 am and completed the two-way relay swim at 1:49 pm on 28 July 2015, escorted by Pádraig Mallon's Infinity Channel Swimming. Its members included Henri Kaarma from Estonia, Ryan Stramrood from South Africa, Anna Carin-Nordin from Sweden, Patrick Corcoran from Ireland, Zdenek Thalmika from the Czech Republic, and Elina Makïnen from Finland. It is nominated for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year by the World Open Water Swimming Association.

2015 IISA World Championships


Kaarma competed in the fastest heat of the 1000m race at the first International Ice Swimming Association (IISA) world championships in Murmansk, Russia in March 2015.

2017 World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men

Kaarma was named to the World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men in 2017 (alphabetized by last name) by the World Open Water Swimming Association:

1. Dr. Doron Amosi, extreme relay/cross-border swimmer from Israel
2. Antonio Argüelles Díaz-González, channel swimmer and endurance athlete from Mexico
3. Cyril Baldock, marathon/channel swimmer from Australia
4. Ram Barkai, administrator, event organizer and ice swimmer from South Africa
5. John Batchelder, butterflying marathon swimmer from USA
6. Nejib Belhedi, marathon/stage/boat pull swimmer from Tunisia
7. Alexander Brylin, channel ice swimmer from Russia
8. Luc Chetboun, extreme relay/cross-border swimmer from Israel
9. Salvatore Cimmino, amputee advocate and marathon/extreme swimmer from Italy
10. Jean Craven, marathon/extreme swimmer from South Africa
11. Ned Denison, IMSHOF administrator and marathon/ice swimmer from Ireland
12. Craig Dietz, disabled open water swimmer from USA
13. Ben Enosh, extreme relay/cross-border swimmer from Israel/USA
14. Udi Erell, extreme relay/cross-border swimmer from Israel
15. Stephen Junk, channel swimmer from Australia
16. Henri Kaarma, event organizer and ice swimmer from Estonia
17. Ger Kennedy, ice, underwater and extreme swimmer from Ireland
18. Craig Lenning, marathon/channel/ice swimmer from the USA
19. Neil Macaskill, extreme/cross-border swimmer from South Africa
20. Pádraig Mallon, escort pilot, event organizer and marathon/channel/ice swimmer from Ireland
21. Ingemar Patiño Macarine, channel/marathon swimmer from the Philippines
22. Andrew Malinak, administrator and cold water/marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
23. Chris Marthinusen, extreme/high-altitude swimmer from South Africa
24. Patrick McKnight, marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
25. Allan McLeland, Peak and Pond swimmer/climber from the USA
26. Darren Miller, channel swimmer and event director from the USA
27. Rohan More, marathon/channel swimmer from India
28. Gullupilli Narhari, extreme relay swimmer from India
29. Matías Ola, event organizer and ice/extreme swimmer from Argentina
30. Kieron Palframan, ice/extreme swimmer from South Africa
31. James Pittar, blind marathon/channel swimmer from Australia
32. Javier Mérida Prieto, disabled Triple Crown swimmer from Spain
33. Lewis Pugh OIG, ocean advocate and ice/extreme swimmer from the UK
34. Oded Rahav, extreme relay/cross-border swimmer from Israel
35. Stephen Redmond, channel/marathon swimmer from Ireland
36. Adrian Sarchet, marathon/channel swimmer from Guernsey
37. Ori Sela, extreme relay/cross-border swimmer from Israel
38. Dan Simonelli, coach/guide/observer and marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
39. Paramvir Singh, extreme relay swimmer from India
40. Albert Sobirov, ice swimmer from Russia
41. Petar Stoychev, marathon/channel/ice/Olympic swimmer from Bulgaria
42. Ryan Stramrood, ice/extreme swimmer from South Africa
43. Martin Strel, marathon/stage swimmer from Slovenia
44. Dr. Otto Thaning, channel/marathon swimmer from South Africa
45. Jacques Tuset, prison island swimmer from France
46. Toks Viviers, ice/extreme swimmer from South Africa
47. Adam Walker, coach, event organizer, and channel swimmer from England
48. Christof Wandratsch, event organizer and ice/marathon/channel/professional swimmer from Germany
49. Brenton Williams, event organizer and butterfly ocean swimmer from South Africa
50. Herman van der Westhuizen, extreme high-altitude swimmer from South Africa

External links