Enjoying ice cold water

Chantelle Deacon

“It’s kind of fun and it wakes you up.”

A Kelowna man will be the first one in the lake and the last one out at Kelowna’s annual Polar Bear Dip on Monday.

Genadiy Selivanov, 34, goes for regular winter swims in Okanagan Lake and he thoroughly enjoys them.

“My record is about six minutes but that was a few years ago,” Selivanov said. “I usually stick to around one to two minutes,” adding that it’s a good way to relieve stress.

He runs about 3.5 kilometres to the Downtown Kelowna waterfront and enters the water wearing nothing but a speedo, about three times per week.

“It’s not that bad there is usually two temperature drops in October,” Selivanov said. “If you can get through October it doesn’t get any worse.”

The worst part is getting out of the water, according to Selivanov, especially if there is a breeze.  

“I get some people who come by and have a conversation,” he said. “I usually try to keep the conversation short because I have to change fairly quickly.”

“My dad was the one who got me into it,” he said. “He has been doing it for at least 40 years.”

Kelowna’s annual Polar Bear Dip takes place at Tugboat Bay in Downtown Kelowna, starting at 2 p.m. on Jan. 1.

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