Man trains in Bow River to try and break ice bath world record in Calgary

Click to play video: 'Man trains in Bow River in attempt to break world record for ice-bath in Calgary'
Man trains in Bow River in attempt to break world record for ice-bath in Calgary
While some people are bundling up this snowy Saturday a man attempting to break a world record spent his morning running in and out of the Bow River. Carolyn Kury de Castillo has more on a Swiss man who has chosen Calgary to be his training ground for breaking a record that involves staying in a box filled with ice cubes for over three hours while raising awareness for his daughter’s medical condition. – Mar 2, 2024

With all the snow in Calgary on Saturday, it was a tough scramble down to the shore of Bow River across from Edworthy Park, but André Belibi Eloumou likes a good challenge.

That’s why he’s stripping off his clothes and taking a plunge into the river.

As an extreme athlete, Belibi Eloumou pursued long-distance running but took a break to deal with depression. After some research, he found cold water was beneficial for him mentally and physically.

“I saw the benefits right away. I felt better. It won’t solve all your problems of course but it definitely helped,” Belibi Eloumou said.

So how does a guy with French and Cameroon backgrounds, now living in Switzerland end up in Bow River in Calgary? Elomou said he was inspired after watching a movie about underdogs at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary.

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“When I was nine, I watched a movie called Cool Runnings and there were four Jamaicans coming to Calgary when the weather is really cold,” Belibi Eloumou said.

Click to play video: 'Cold plunge: Why dunking yourself in icy water can benefit your health'
Cold plunge: Why dunking yourself in icy water can benefit your health

He’s trying to break a world record for remaining immersed in ice, not just for himself but also to raise awareness of autism. His daughter is on the autism spectrum.

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“I want to show my daughter that it doesn’t matter what you have. Don’t let the world tell how to do things, but do your own thing,” Belibi Eloumou said.

Eloumou said he has friends with him to provide support and safety. On Saturday, his training consisted of repeatedly running in and out of the river followed by sets of push-ups.

“When I heard what he was doing I thought it was crazy,” said Ian Boyd from Calgary who also enjoys cold water dips in the Bow River. “Spending three and a half hours in ice is a great challenge but it’s for a good cause,” Boyd said

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He practices breathing techniques and meditation to help him tolerate the cold.

“Once you’re in the cold water, you have to focus on the moment. You just have to motivate yourself to get out there,” Eloumou said.

Even if others don’t feel motivated to take this chilling challenge, Eloumou hopes his intrepid dips inspire in other ways.

“It doesn’t matter what you have in life, just keep going every day. Even if the day is not the best it’s okay. Get up the next morning and do it, and the ice water helps me do it,” Belibi Eloumou said.

The record for being in an ice bath is three hours and 11 minutes.

Eloumou plans to break that record this May in Calgary. He’s hosting a fundraiser on March 9 for the  Ice Bath World Record for Autism at the Ol’ Beautiful Brewing Company in Calgary.

(20+) Training for Ice Bath World Record for Autism – Fundraiser and Social Event | Facebook


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