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Ram Barkai

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Ram Barkai
Personal information
NationalityIsraeli, South African
Born (1957-10-22) October 22, 1957 (age 63)
Kibbutz Maagan, Israel
ClubSunday Hot Chocolate Swimming Group

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Ram Barkai (born October 22, 1957[1]) is a South African open water swimmer and former businessman, specializing in winter swimming and known for his ability to withstand extremely cold waters. He has taken on many of the world's toughest swims, including that in the icy waters of Switzerland and the shark-infested waters of South Africa.[2] Born in Israel,[3][4] Barkai holds many world records related to swimming, including the record for being the only person to have swum the Robben Island crossing at night[citation needed]. He has also appeared on many television programs, including the documentary Stan Lee's Superhumans.[5][6] Founder of the International Ice Swimming Association,[4] Barkai resides in Cape Town, South Africa, where he moved to in 1996 and first experienced cold open water swimming.[2]



Prior to moving to Cape Town, where he now resides, Barkai served five years in the Israeli Army and 9 years in Tokyo and Japan.[7]


Swimming aside, Barkai was the Chief Executive Officer and Director of Cadiz Holding Limited from 2005 to 2012.[8][9][10]


  • Ram Barkai completed many swims around the world.
  • 1. Robben Island Crossing 25 times.
  • 2. Rottnest Perth, Australianaked solo category.
  • 3. Round Cape Point First Man to do the swim together with Andrew Chin.
  • 4. Round The Cape Peninsula 100 km relay swim.
  • 5. Across the Sea of Galilee 10 km width and 22 km Length.
  • 6. Antarctica 1 km at 1C at 70 degrees South - Guinness World Record 2008.
  • 7. Lake Zurich Barkai swam 2.3k at 4C
  • 8. Ram was part of a team of six swimmers who swam the entire length, 2000 km, of the Orange River
  • 9. Around Pennock Island Alaska 14 km
  • 10. Magellan Straits, Beagle Channel and was part of a team of 5 South Africans to be the first ever swimmers to swim around Cape Horn
  • 11. Siberia Tyumen 1 km at 0C and 1.5 km at 0c, air temp -33C
  • 12. Russia Murmansk 1mile at 0C
  • 13 Participated in an international relay team that swim across two entire widths of the Bering Strait 134 km water temp 2C-8C
  • 14 Antarctica, Neko Harbor swam 1.2 km at water temp of -1C
  • 15 Iceland, akureyri swam an Ice Mile mid winter on New Year's eve 2015; water temp 4c; air temp -15c
  • 16 Magellan strait, swam across with Andrew Chin, Kieron Palframan, Toks Viviers & Ryan Stramrood 2009; 4 km in 9C [3.9C]
  • 17 Beagle Channel, swam across from Chile to Argentina and back with Andrew Chin, Kieron Palframan, Toks Viviers & Ryan Stramrood 2009; 3 km at 8C
  • 18 Cape Horn, first ever team to swim around Cabo de Hornos, Chile between the Two lighthouses with Andrew Chin, Kieron Palframan, Toks Viviers & Ryan Stramrood 2009; 2.5 km at 7C
  • 19 Lake Baikal Russia swam an Ice Mile in water temp of 4C, 2017
  • 20 Svalbard last station to the North Pole Swam the most north Ice Mile 1.610 km water temp 4C, 2017, with a Polish Expedition

Personal life[edit]

Ram Barkai .[11] has four children.[4]


  1. "Founding Members". International Ice Swimming Association. Archived from the original on October 4, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Nevitt, Lisa. "Ram Barkai interview". Cape Town Magazine. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  3. "Ram Barkai - Centre for Conscious Leadership". Centre for Conscious Leadership. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Ice swimmer Ram Barkai takes on the Bering Strait". Speedo. Archived from the original on December 30, 2013. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  5. "SAfrican swims icy loch". Voice of the Cape. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  6. "Bird Man". Stan Lee's Superhumans. Season 2. Episode 14. History.
  7. Ram Barkai. "About". rambarkai.com. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  8. "Cadiz holdings ltd (CDZ:Johannesburg) Ram Barkai: Executive Profile". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  9. Alec Hogg (May 31, 2010). "Cadiz Holdings annual results: Ram Barkai - CEO, Cadiz Holdings". Money Web. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  10. "Ram Barkai: An interview with a 21st Century Conscious Leader who Pushes Possibilities". Centre for Conscious Leadership. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  11. Munatones, Steve (March 29, 2012). "Ram Barkai, Zeroing In On The Extreme". Open Water Source. Retrieved October 27, 2012.

External links[edit]

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