Courtesy of Superhuman Showdown.

Ram Barkai, chairman of the International Ice Swimming Association, was featured on the special Cold Endurance episode on Shimmer on the Discovery Channel’s Superhuman Showdown.

The 61-year-old South African, with 11 Ice Miles and 14 Ice Kilometers under his swim cap, has trained himself to control his physiological and psychological reactions to extreme cold water that greatly impressed the doctors and judges of the Superhuman Showdown – but was no surprise to the growing number of Cold Members and Ice Members of the International Ice Swimming Association.

The Superhuman Showdown is a TV program that investigates people with unique abilities that extend far beyond that of ordinary humans. Cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Heather Berlin, brain surgeon and neuroscientist Rahul Jandial, M.D., Ph.D., and exercise physiologist Professor Greg Whyte OBE PhD DSc asked a number of remarkable individuals – including Barkai – to their laboratory so they could examine the physical and mental composition of each individual to determine the source of their superhuman skills that includes speed, strength, endurance, brain power, skill, or cold water thermogenesis in the case of Barkai.

The scientists will select the two most impressive individuals to go head-to-head in the final showdown.

For more information on the program, visit here.

Ram Barkai’s Career Ice Miles:
1. 1.43 miles on 31 January 2009 in Lake Zurich, Switzerland in 4.0°C water, 0.0°C wind chill, in 43 minutes 0 seconds
2. 1.0 mile on 17 July 2010 in Fraserburg, South Africa in 4.5°C water, 5.0°C wind chill in 33 minutes 0 seconds
3. 1.0 mile on 23 July 2011 in Fraserburg, South Africa in 5.0°C water, 10.0°C wind chill in 28 minutes 59 seconds
4. 1.0 mile on 4 January 2012 in Loch Faskally, Scotland in 2.0°C water, 0.0°C wind chill in 28 minutes 3 seconds
5. 1.0 mile on 15 July 2012 in Fraserburg, South Africa in 1.70°C water, -5.0°C wind chill in 31 minutes 33 seconds
6. 1.0 mile on 31 January 2013 in Lake Holborough, Kent, UK in 3.5°C water, 0.0°C wind chill in 31 minutes 14 seconds
7. 1.0 mile on 23 March 2013 in Murmansk, Russia in 0.0°C water, 0.0°C wind chill in 32 minutes 43 seconds
8. 1.03 miles on 31 December 2014 in Vltava River, Branik, Prague, Czech Republic in 4.6°C water, -2.0°C wind chill in 30 minutes 0 seconds
9. 1.0 mile on 31 December 2015 in the Eyjafjörður, Iceland in 4.63°C water, -15.0°C wind chill in 32 minutes 18 seconds
10. 1.0 mile on 12 June 2017 in Lake Baikal, Russia in 4.7°C water, 17.0°C wind chill in 31 minutes 45 seconds
11. 1.03 miles on 22 June 2017 in Svalbard fjord, Arctic Sea in 4.61°C water, 0.3°C wind chill in 28 minutes 16 seconds

Ram Barkai’s Career Ice Kilometers:
1. On 11 January 2015 at 1st Aqua Sphere Ice Swimming Championships in Lake Wöhrsee, Burghausen, Germany in 17 minutes 20 seconds in 4.8°C water, 0.0°C wind chill
2. On 20 March 2015 at IISA 1st World Championships in Lake Semenovskoye, Murmansk, Russia in 16 minutes 39 seconds in 0.08°C water, -5.0°C wind chill
3. On 19 December 2015 in River Labe Czech Ice Swimming Championships in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic in 17 minutes 59 seconds in 4.7°C water, 7.0°C wind chill
4. On 10 January 2016 at Aqua Sphere Ice Swimming Championships in Burghausen, Germany 17 minutes 28 seconds in 3.9°C water, 0.0°C wind chill
5. On 23 January 2016 at Polish Championships in Katowice, Poland 16 minutes 55 seconds in 2.0°C water, 0.0°C wind chill
6. 30 January 2016 at International Ice Swimming Championships in Ireland Wild Water, Armagh in 16 minutes 53 seconds in 4.5°C water, -8.0°C wind chill
7. On 7 August 2016 at IISA SA 2016 Championships in Afriski resort, Lesotho in 25 minutes 48 seconds in 4.0°C minutes, 5.0°C wind chill
8. On 6 January 2017 in 2nd Ice Swimming Aqua Sphere Championships in Burghausen, Bavaria, Germany in 16 minutes 58.85 seconds in 3.4°C water, -11.1°C wind chill
9. On 11 February 2017 in Ice Cup & Great British Ice Swimming Championships in The Cruin, Loch Lomond, Scotland in 22 minutes 8 seconds in 4.2°C water, 0.9°C wind chill
10. On 8 June 2017 in the Baikal Mile in Lake Baikal, Russia in 18 minutes 58.43 seconds in 4.6°C water, 22.0°C wind chill
11. On 7 January 2018 in Ice Swimming German Open in Veitsbronn, Germany in 17 minutes 36.30 seconds in 3.8°C water, 6.0°C wind chill
12. On 25 February 2018 in IISA GB Championships in Hatfield Outdoor Activity Centre, Great Britain in 16 minutes 13.44 seconds in 3.6°C water, 1.1°C wind chill
13. On 23 November 2018 in Antarctica Ice Swimming in Port Lockroy, Antarctica in 18 minutes 47.22 seconds in -1.2°C water, -7.6°C wind chill
14. On 18 March 2019 in IISA 3rd World Championships in Lake Semenovskoye, Murmansk, Russia in 17 minutes 32.61 seconds in 0.2°C water, -6.3°C wind chill

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