Courtesy of Ned Denison, Ice Swimming Hall of Fame.

Henri Kaarma of Estonia was one of the inaugural honorees of the Ice Swimming Hall of Fame.

It was a very well-deserved honor that the mild-mannered, seriously-minded Estonian banker was recognized as an Honor Swimmer by the organization founded by Ned Denison and Paolo Chiarino, Elaine Howley, Pádraig Mallon, Leszek Naziemiec, Kieron Palframan, Shelley Taylor-Smith, and Jonty Warneken.

Kaarma has been a well-known, well-respected and iconic figure in the winter swimming and ice swimming community for many years. Among Kaarma’s accomplishments are as follows:

Certified Ice Miles:
 16 December 2012, Tournament of Russian Cities in Tyumen, Russia: 1650m in 25 minutes 25 seconds in 0.3°C water and ‐33°C air
 23 March 2013, 79th Northern Festival in Murmansk, Russia: 2150m in 35 minutes 26 seconds in 0.5°C water and ‐3°C air
 15 December 2013, Tournament of Russian Cities in Tyumen, Russia: 2400m in 41 minutes 57 seconds in 0°C water and ‐8°C air

Recorded Ice Kilometer Races
 10 January 2015, Ice Swimming German Open 2015 in Burghausen, Germany: 2nd in 14 minutes 31.51 seconds in 4.8°C water and 2°C air
 7 February 2015, Ireland Ice Swimming Championships in Camlough Lake: 1st in 13 minutes 53.57 seconds to set an overall world record in 3.1°C water and 6.2°C air
 20 March 2015, 1st Ice Swimming World Championships in Murmansk, Russia: 3rd in 14 minutes 17.01 seconds, 1st in age group in 0.1°C water and ‐6°C air
 26 February 2016, IISA 1K Ice Swimming Estonian Championships in Tallinn, Estonia: 1st age group in 14 minutes 36.50 seconds in 0°C water and 2°C air
 6 January 2017, 2nd Ice Swimming World Championships in Burghausen, Germany: 3rd in age group in 14 minutes 2.26 seconds in 3°C water and ‐11°C air

International Winter Swimming Association Events
 8 IWSA world championship titles: 2010 4×25 breaststroke and 4×25 freestyle; 2012 450m freestyle; 2014 450m freestyle and 4×25 freestyle; 2016 4×25 freestyle; 2018 450m freestyle and 200m freestyle
 Overall 27 medals from International Winter Swimming Association World Championships

First Ever Epic Swims
 Participant in the 2013 International Bering Strait relay crossing

Other Special Swims or Conditions
 8 January 2011, Pirita Open 2011 in Tallinn, Estonia: 1000m in 14 minutes 58 seconds in 0.4°C water and ‐1°C air to complete the first 1K swim in Estonia with one digital thermometer
 16 November 2013, Anne Ahven 2013 in Tartu, Estonia: 3240m in 59 minutes in 4.9°C water and 8°C air to complete the first 2‐mile swim below 5°C water, one digital thermometer
 22 February 2014, Pirita Open 2014 in Tallinn, Estonia: 1650m in 24 minutes in 0,1°C water and 4°C air, mile below 5°C with 3 digital thermometers
 28 February 2015, Pirita Open 2015 in Tallinn, Estonia: 1750m in 27 minutes 25 seconds in 2°C water and 2°C air, mile below 5°C with 3 digital thermometers

Other Considerations
 Initiator of winter swimming as a competitive sport in Estonia
 Founder of the annual Winter Swimming Festival Pirita Open
 Ice swimming evangelist

Denison explains, “The objective of the Ice Swimming Hall of Fame is to recognize and honor leading ice and icy water swimmers and contributors to the sport. The Ice Swimming Hall of Fame serves as a historic record and provide heroes and role models for future generations.

In addition to Kaarma, Honor Swimmer and Honord Administrator Ram Barkai, Honor Event Bering Strait Relay from Russia to USA, Honor Swimmer Aleksander Brylin of Russia, Honor Swimmer Jaimie Monahan of the USA, Honor Swimmer Lewis Pugh of Great Britain, Honor Contributor – Administrator Mariia Yrjö-Koskinen of Finland, and Honor Contributor – Media Steven Muñatones of the USA were also honored.”

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