Tens of thousands swim across Sun Moon Lake at annual event
CNATAIPEI--Tens of thousands of people joined an annual mass swimming event on Sunday across Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan's largest fresh water lake.
September 9, 2013, 12:09 am TWN
Over 25,000 swimmers attempted the 3,000-meter swim across the lake in the central county of Nantou, including 237 disabled people and 1,088 foreign swimmers from 30 countries, organizers said.
Participants not only displayed their physical prowess, but also their creativity. One swimmer had on an Iron Man mask, while another wore a balloon headpiece shaped as a layer cake.
The swimmers, who entered the water in groups to prevent overcrowding, swam from the start line at the lake's Chaowu pier to the finish line at Ita Thao pier.
Vice President Wu Den-yih, who began the mass swimming event when he was magistrate of Nantou County, fired the starting gun.
Wu noted that the military has stepped up safety measures this year to ensure safer swimming for the participants.
During the swim, a 48-year-old man was hospitalized after he fell ill due to his epilepsy, but his condition was not serious, according to officials.
Prior to the start of the event, Wu also joined an event to release fish into the waters of the approximately 800-hectare lake to symbolize the never-ending life cycle.
Now in its 31st year, the swimming event attracted a record 28,390 swimmers last year.