Courtesy of Swimming World Magazine, Antarctica, Southern Ocean. Photo courtesy of Andreas Vigl, Red Bull Content Pool.

The last time an aquatic athlete made news in the Southern Ocean was when Lewis Pugh completed The Five Swims in Antarctica for 1 Reason, a series of five 1 km open water swims in waters between 0ºC and -1.7ºC in Campbell Island at 52º South, Cape Adare at 71º South, Cape Evans at 77.6º South, Bay of Whales at 78.5º South, and Peter 1 Island at 69º South in February-March 2015.

And there will be many more swimmers heading down to Antarctica to push the envelope in the open water swimming community without wetsuits including Antarctica 2020 led by Ger Kennedy.

Some athletes will be challenging themselves solely for personal reasons; others will swim for specific causes.

Recently, a diver from Colombia joined the list of aquatic athletes using their skills and sense of adventure to shed light on climate change.

Orlando Duque, a world-class 43-year-old high diver from Cali, dove off an iceberg in Antarctica three times in January 2018, sponsored by Red Bull.

Wearing a 7mm thick wetsuit, Duque dove 3 times into the 1°C water from a 20-meter iceberg – and plans next to dive somewhere in the Arctic Sea. “The landscape was majestic. When I had climbed to the top, I had to hack off a chunk of the ice to make a stable space at the point where I was going to jump. My biggest fear at that moment was that a piece of ice would detach itself and that my dreams would end there.”

People need to be more aware. We have to reduce our oil and plastic consumption to conserve places like Antarctica.

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