Tens of thousands swim across Sun Moon Lake in annual festival

09/27/2020 02:34 PM
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Participants from the Australian and Canadian representative offices in Taiwan. Photo courtesy of the Nantou County government
Participants from the Australian and Canadian representative offices in Taiwan. Photo courtesy of the Nantou County government

Taipei, Sept. 27 (CNA) Some 20,000 people took part in the annual Sun Moon Lake International Swimming Carnival in Nantou County on Sunday, with extra disease prevention measures in place amid COVID-19 concerns, according to the organizers.

Nantou County Magistrate Lin Ming-chen (林明溱) said businesses in the popular tourist area were relieved to learn that the annual event would go ahead, after the central government gave the go-ahead once the additional measures were in place.

This year, the organizers checked each participant's temperature, and required all participants to wear a face mask before they entered the water and immediately after finishing the 3-kilometer swim.

Photo courtesy of the Nantou County government
Photo courtesy of the Nantou County government

The swimmers were also divided into four groups with different time slots, and the intervals between the starting times were longer than in the past, the organizers said.

According to the organizers, 21,828 people, including 195 foreign nationals, signed up as part of 1,998 teams for the event, which has been held since 1983.

Notable participants included former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and a team led by Gary Cowan, Australia's representative to Taiwan, who took his daughter and colleagues to the event after being challenged by Canada's representative to Taiwan, Jordan Reeves, the Australian said in a tweet.

Cowan described the swim as a "once in a lifetime experience" in his tweet.

(By Wu Che-hao and Kay Liu) enditem/ls

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