Piestany, December 26 (TASR) – Outdoor winter swimmers converged on the bank of the Vah River in Piestany (Trnava region) to enjoy their favourite and traditional St. Stephen’s Day swim on Wednesday.
A total of 14 women and 93 men took a dip in the water with the temperature of 1.5 degrees Celsius, while another 500 watched from the bank. The youngest swimmer was a 10-year-old girl of Trnava, the oldest 78-year-old Jozef Kliestenec of Piestany (Trnava region).
In accordance with their traditional ritual, the swimmers sang their swimming anthem and engaged in warm-up workout before plunging in. “They swam the length of 200 metres on average, from one bank of the Vah River to the other one and back. They spent some 15 minutes in the water, with the longest stay being 20 minutes,” organiser Martin Valo told TASR. This year’s turnout as well as the number of swimmers was the highest in the history of the event.
According to Valo, the water temperature was satisfactory, as the 0-4 Celsius degree range is considered “top performance rating”. “There were swimmers hailing from Bratislava, Hlohovec, Vrbove, Topolcany, Brezova pod Bradlom, Banska Bystrica, Nove Mesto nad Vahom, Leopoldov, Senica, Trnava and eleven villages close to Piestany. As for locals, there were thirty of us,” he added.