Kazakh swims 70km to commemorate 70th Victory Day25 july 2014, 14:44
Omirzhan Oshanov, a 53 y.o. resident of Zhanatan village in Pavlodar Oblast, swam for 10 hours to commemorate the upcoming 70th Victory Day, Tengrinews reports. Oshanov swam breaststroke 70 km in the Irtysh River.
“I wanted to do it for all the veterans of the Great Patriotic War. That is why I decided to swim 70 km from my native Zhanatan village to Pavlodar,” Oshanov said.
But swimming in the Irtish River was challenging due to low temperature of the water that day. “I swam from 10 am to 8 pm. The weather was not so good. It was cloudy and the water was cold, around 16-17 degrees only,” the villager said.
According to Oshanov, the cold water caused foot spasms several timed and he had to stop to rest and warm up. The swimmer added that his trainings helped him to cover the distance.
Ozhanov works as a Kazakhsha Kures (Kazakh wrestling) coach in a local sports school.
“I participated in marathons before. This time I was swimming. I am glad that I was able to accomplish my goal. I am happy to be able to express my respect and gratitude to all the veterans of the war and pay tribute to the memory of those who did not come back from the battlefields,” Oshanov said.
"It is my gift to all veterans of the Great Patriotic War that brought victory to our land. Their act of bravery will always be a part of history as a prime example of unbroken spirit and love to their country," he said after the swim.
The swimmer was tracked by an emergency services team and paramedics.