Olga Lozar

A Sea Gate resident who is a Coney Island Polar Bear talks about the pleasures of winter swimming

Olga Lozar
Interview Date:
January 31, 2019


This interview was conducted and recorded in Russian. Read Julia Kanin's transcript and translation below. Интервью проведено и записано на русском языке. Вы можете ознакомиться с траснскриптом и переводом Юлии Ханиной ниже.

A native of Kuban, Stavropol, in the North Caucasus region of southern Russia, Olga Lozar first learned to swim in the alpine lakes of the Caucusus Mountains.  After immigrating to the U.S. twenty-five years ago, Olga and her family bought a home in Sea Gate at the western tip of Coney Island, where they have enjoyed living for the past sixteen years.  "And even when you're coming back from work, no matter how tired you are, once we reach home, returning to Sea Gate, or Coney Island, your rest starts that minute," says Olga. "When we get here, we start relaxing. It's tremendously energizing." She first became acquainted with the Coney Island Polar Bear Club when she happened to see a group of winter swimmers coming out of the water and one of them invited her to join them. Olga talks about the Club's activities including the New Year's Day Plunge, which is a fundraiser for the community, as well as off-season sunrise swims, a group of Sea Gate swimmers who are like family, and her experiences during Hurricane Sandy.