Courtesy of Ryan Stramrood of the International Ice Swimming Association explains his pre-race preparations at the Ice Swimming Aqua Sphere World Championships in Burghausen, Germany.

Ask an athlete to run across a desert or cycle for long distances or perform other extreme physiological feats and most good athletes could continue for a while before they reach their physiological and psychological limits.

But put these same athletes in water below 5°C (41°F) and the enormity of the moment becomes immediately apparent.

This is why we describe the Ice Swimming Aqua Sphere World Championships in Burghausen, Germany as the most extreme type of championships.

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