BY HARRY WALSH
ANNE Marie Ward, the first Donegal woman to swim the English Channel, is just back from Murmansk, Russia, inside the Arctic Circle.
Anne Marie, from Portnablagh travelled to Russia’s coldest region on the invitation of the Department of Sport and Culture to participate in the International Winter Swimming Competition last weekend.
Swimmers represented nine different countries and clubs from all over Russia.
Anne Marie is part of an international team who hope to swim the Bering Strait from Russia to the United States later this year.
“Our Bering Straits team used the competition to continue our preparation for the summer attempt, it’s all looking very positive this year,” she said.
Anne Marie took home two medals from the event, silver for the 200m breaststroke and bronze for the 450m freestyle at 0 degrees.
With solo swims across both the English Channel and North Channel under her belt, Anne Marie is already one of the world’s most accomplished cold-water channel swimmers.
Anne Marie will be joined by swimmers from South Africa, Poland, Czech Republic, England, Russia, Italy and Sweden on the relay crossing of the Bering Strait which separates Russia from America – and the water will be below 4 degrees Celsius for the swim.
The swimming relay starts on the Cape Dezhnev (Russia) and finishes on the Cape Prince of Wales (USA).