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From sauna into the icy water and back

Heidi Pakarinen and Mari Anttila are friends and a familiar sight at the Tykkimäki sauna in winter. Last year they competed in the 25-metre breaststroke at the Finnish Winter Swimming Championships.

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The competition is all about having fun and so is ice swimming. From a warm sauna you jump into a hole in the ice and then go back to the sauna. You swim perhaps ten times and the rest of the time is spent in good company, sitting in the mixed sauna. 

Heidi visits the Tykkimäki Sauna on the Käyrälampi beach 2–4 times a week in winter, while Mari goes less frequently. The best things about this hobby is how good and relaxed it makes you feel.

Swimming in a lake in summer is a unique experience for a foreigner, not to mention plunging into the icy water in winter. It’s quite an experience for a Finn too.