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Winter bathers

Need to Know presents VII Magazine, a journalistic partnership with VII Photo, which gives readers unprecedented intimate access to the work of the world’s leading photojournalists. Every day, our partners at VII showcase a new photo, and each week, a new video or audio slideshow.

The winter bathing community in Poland is something of a phenomenon. The International Winterbather’s Rally in Mielno, Poland, was initiated in 2004, and participation has grown significantly each year. The event was inspired by weekly winter Baltic bathing get-togethers originated by 20 hardy souls.

Winter bathers come from all parts of Poland. Some of them organize in regional clubs to swim as a group, while others just do it on their own. Swimming happens year-round, but the participants are happiest when the winter season comes. No matter the temperature, the time of day, or how fierce the weather, these swimmers will not be deterred.

View the photos at VII Magazine.

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