Olympian Markus Rogan Among Three Attempting World Record Ice Swims

Photo Courtesy: Chandler Brandes

Olympian Markus Rogan Among Three Attempting World Record Ice Swims

Austrian Olympic swimmer Markus Rogan is part of a group of three swimmers attempting a world record under-ice swim this week.

The attempt, on Feb. 2 and 3, will featured Rogan, 83-year-old Californian Michael C. Donaldson and Christoph Strobl, a swim coach and graduate student. The three will make their attempt in Lake Weissensee in the Austrian Alps.

Rogan is attempting to set the world record for longest distance swim with just a swimsuit and no fins. Strobl is seeking to set the distance record in a swimsuit and monofin. Donaldson is chasing the record for longest swim in a wetsuit without fins or gloves.

All three men live in Southern California. Rogan, the double silver medalist in the 2004 Olympics in men’s backstroke, is a psychologist. He is also a nine-time European champion (short- and long-course) and a World Short-course champion. Donaldson is a well-known copyright lawyer and author. Like Rogan, Strobl is a native of Austria who is studying to become a sports psychologist. The three are coached by Austrian Christian Reidl, a free diver and adventurer with a unique breath-holding technique.

Guinness World Records will be there to observe the attempt and ratify a possible successful bid. A film crew will document the swims. The group has a narrow window to attempt the swim, though they’ve spent time in Austria acclimating to the altitude and conditions in the lake.

The Weissensee is a glacial lake in Southern Austria. It is currently covered by ice up to five inches thick with an average temperature of 37 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). It’s a popular destination for ice skaters. The attempt will be accompanied by safety swimmers in scuba gear in the water with the three men, with entry and exit holes broken through the ice for swimmers to access.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x