Markus Rogan, Michael Donaldson Among Ice Swim Record Setters

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Photo Courtesy: Kelly Lennon

Markus Rogan, Michael Donaldson Among Ice Swim Record Setters

Olympic medalist Markus Rogan and training partner Michael Donaldson were among the swimmers to set ice swimming records in Austria recently.

Rogan swam 111.2 meter under ice, a number he chose to honor the birthdate of his eldest son.

Donaldson, 84, set two world records by covering 30 meters (99 feet) with a wetsuit and no fins or gloves. He also set marks by going 20 meters with a swimsuit and no fins and 40 meters with a wetsuit and fins.

Their attempts were completed in the village of Weissensee in Austria.


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Rogan, a Stanford grad and now a psychologist, won silver medals in the 100 backstroke and 200 back at the 2004 Olympics for Australia. He also won medals at World Championships from 2001-07.

Donaldson is an author and a long-time entertainment attorney in Los Angeles. Donaldson, who practices at Donaldson Callif Perez, is the general counsel for Film Independent (which organizes the Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival) and the Writers Guild of America/West Foundation.

Rogan and Donaldson had been part of a group that attempted the swims last year, but conditions prevented them.

It has been a busy ice swimming season, with four divers in Norway setting records on the first weekend in March. All of the attempts came in ordinary swimwear (i.e. not wetsuits.) South African diver Amber Fillary swam 100 meters without fins under ice, then extended it the next day to 105 meters. She also swam 110 meters with a monofin. Her three world records add to ones she set in 2020 and 2022.

Stanislaw Obdbiezelak of Poland made it 110 meters with a monofin. American Mandy Sumner, a native of Maine, swam 75 meters with bifins. Norwegian Kristian Tonnen swam 85 meters with bifins.

All of the Norway attempts occurred in Lake Mysutjernet near Kongsberg.

“I dedicate these records to everyone who is battling with mental health issues,” Fillary said in an interview. “I want to show that no matter how difficult things may seem, with determination and support, anything is possible. Together, we can break through barriers and achieve the extraordinary.”

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