Gangyi, a famous adventurer, is welcomed by fellow cold-water swimmers on
the Yalu River in Dandong, Liaoning Province, July 8, 2006. [China
Five years after swimming in the ice-cold waters of Antarctica, Wang Gangyi,
one of China's most famous adventurers, on Saturday announced in
Dandong, Northeast China's Liaoning Province he would swim in the
Arctic Ocean at the end of July.
Wang, a 50-year-old law professor from Dalian University of Technology, is a
dedicated cold-water swimmer.
He has swum in some famous icy spots such as Chile's Magellan Strait, South
Korea's Han River and the Titanic disaster site in the North Atlantic.
In 2001, Wang set a record for swimming in 1.4 C water in the Antarctic Ocean
for 52 minutes.
"He is the pride of all Chinese. I believe he will succeed," said 82-year-old
Chen Yuanquan, chairman of Dandong Winter Swimming Association.
According to the plan, Wang will leave Beijing on July 18, and practice in
local icy lakes in Norway before taking the plunge on July 27.
"There are two major challenges on this trip: Cold temperatures in the Arctic
Ocean and polar bears," Wang said.
Although it is summer, water temperatures will still be around zero. Wang
admitted that he did not know how long he could stay in the water.
As for polar bears, Wang said he would try to avoid the animal and his
support team would shoot to drive away any that approached.
The whole adventure will cost Wang between 300,000 yuan (US$37,500) and
500,000 yuan (US$ 62,500), money which he says he has mostly raised.
China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co donated him 1 million yuan (US$125,000)
worth of insurance.
During the swim, Dalian University of Technology and China Base Research
Centre will jointly perform test on human ability to withstand low