18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Winter Swimmers

A very old Beijing tradition makes a great spectacle without the need of getting a ticket! Every winter, I enjoy watching these retired men and women -mostly in their 60s and 70s swim in Houhai Lake in the heart of Beijing. This is a great activity for them as it is readily available,an absolute workout for the immune system, an endorphin high, social connection that comes with truly fascinated spectators. Here they have just gotten out of the cold water, warming up with their backs turned towards the sun and their chats trying to catch up with one another -an equally important part of this ritual. The oldest swimmer I spoke to was 83 and the youngest was 66 years old. These old Chinese people can well be role models for healthy living. I am sure their lunches are full of greens and veggies with minimum animal protein.. because it’s what regular Chinese food is all about. On the day, it was 14C /windy with 10C water temperature.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 10.2020
Date Uploaded: 11.2020
Photo Location: Beijing, China
Copyright: © Pelin Guven