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Just keep swimming: Octogenarian keeps up cold water aquatics started in her youth

Nisswa resident Gisela Borgwarth, 83, began swimming in Germany's portion of the North Sea at the age of 10. As a young girl growing up in Germany, she was a member of a group of girls who liked to keep swimming after the swimming pools were clos...

With water temperatures in the upper 40s, Gisela Borgwarth, 83, of Nisswa swims with morning sunlight illuminating her Thursday, Oct. 18, in Hole in the Day Bay on Gull Lake. Borgwarth began swimming as a young girl in the North Sea in Germany and continues until Halloween or later. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch Video and Gallery
With water temperatures in the upper 40s, Gisela Borgwarth, 83, of Nisswa swims with morning sunlight illuminating her Thursday, Oct. 18, in Hole in the Day Bay on Gull Lake. Borgwarth began swimming as a young girl in the North Sea in Germany and continues until Halloween or later. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch Video and Gallery

Nisswa resident Gisela Borgwarth, 83, began swimming in Germany's portion of the North Sea at the age of 10.

As a young girl growing up in Germany, she was a member of a group of girls who liked to keep swimming after the swimming pools were closed for the season. She called the group daredevils as they would push the limits of their endurance by swimming in the River Elbe and the North Sea.

Gisela began swimming on Gull Lake on Booming Out Bay in 1980 while married to Hanspeter Borgwarth. To this day Gisela continues swimming in Gull Lake at Hole, only now she does so at Hole in the Day Bay.

Her goal is to swim until Halloween. An exception came in 2016, when she swam until Nov. 16. According to Gisela, "The next day was a snowstorm."

On Thursday, Oct. 18, with water temperatures in the upper 40s, Gisela was back in the water. The wind was from the south and the water was calm but cold. A neighbor came out to watch as the sun rose above the horizon and illuminated her face in the blue water.

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Swimming wasn't the only thing capturing her attention Thursday. "Look, a flock of swans," she exclaimed as they rose off the surface of the lake. A flock of ducks also skimmed the surface.

"I love it," she said.

For more photos of Gisela, swimming go to https://bit.ly/2J61MMa

Related Topics: WEATHERGULL LAKENISSWA
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