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The Iceman Cometh: Winter Swimmers Compete in Iran

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Dozens of people braved ice-cold weather burying themselves in snow and splashing in the frigid waters of Khiavchaei River in Meshgin, a city in Iran’s northeastern Arbil Province, the news agency ISNA reported.

The winners of the unusual competitions, aptly called Icemen, were awarded honorary certificates and diplomas.

​​​“We are going to make Icemen an international tournament. Promoting winter sports in Meshgin is our main priority now,” the competitions’ host Hossein Abbasinia said.

He added that in order to get domestic and foreign investors interested, the city needed well-developed infrastructure.

​Nestled comfortably at the foothills of Mt. Sabelan, a dormant stratovolcano, Meshgin boasts a very special microclimate, which makes it an ideal place for winter sport enthusiasts.

Plans are also apace to hold mountain ski tourneys there and open a health resort using private investors’ money.

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