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Days Like These - True Stories

Swimming for Joy


It’s mid-winter in the Snowy Mountains and in the Thredbo river, where the water is 3.3 degrees, a woman swims laps. She’s wearing just a regular swimsuit, cap and goggles.  

The swimmer is 40-year-old Joy Symons, attempting an ‘ice mile’, a feat considered by some the most dangerous swim in the world. To achieve this official ice mile, she must give proof that she is alive 45 minutes after the event. 

A former Australian representative swimmer, she and her family live at the public pool they manage in sunny Rockhampton, Queensland. 

So what’s brought her to swim in this murky pond with snow falling around her? And how will the grit that made Joy competitive as a young swimmer help her today?