Bárbara Hernández Premieres Documentary on Her Guinness World Record Achievement

This event was held as part of the CMPC’s “Vive lo Natural” program. The objective of this program is to promote awareness of and conservation of our country’s green areas in order to ensure a more sustainable future for our country.

“Ice Mermaid: A Swim in the Heart of the Ocean,” a documentary describing her swimming achievement in freezing waters for over 55 minutes in 2023, was presented publicly by national athlete Bárbara Hernández. 

An audience of nearly 450 people gathered at the San Carlos de Apoquindo Event Center on May 10th to watch the premiere of “Ice Mermaid: A Swim in the Heart of the Ocean.” This documentary recounts the astonishing feat accomplished by Chilean athlete Bárbara Hernández who set the record for the longest swim in Antarctic waters. This milestone, never before achieved by anyone, earned her a Guinness World Record. In total, she swam 2.5 kilometers and spent over 55 minutes in waters near 2° Celsius in Chile Bay, Greenwich Island, in the southern part of our country. 

The event was organized by CMPC and CDUC and attended by Minister of Sports Jaime Pizarro. During the event, Bárbara shared her experiences and was honored by the Universidad Católica Sports Club. Her entire team was also recognized with an award for their support in her endeavors. 

“I am very grateful for CMPC’s support through the ‘Vive lo Natural’ program. I am delighted to share the documentary about the Guinness World Record with the public, as well as to present the work of my team. Being a part of this celebration is a great honor and privilege, and I am very happy to be here today. I hope everyone enjoys the event, connects with nature, understands the importance of caring for our oceans, and that my team feels appreciated,” said the swimmer.

CMPC hosted the event as part of its “Vive lo Natural” program. Through a variety of community initiatives, this program aims to connect people with the company’s forests and conservation areas, and to raise awareness about green spaces and environmental sustainability.

One such initiative is the Bosque Vivo park network: forest properties opened to the public that now serve as vast green spaces for southern Chileans. Currently, there are four parks: Pumalal in Temuco, Lastarria in Loncoche, Junquillar in Angol, and El Cóndor in Coyhaique. These parks offer trails for trekking and mountain biking, viewpoints, recreational plazas, children’s play areas, and other attractions. Additionally, CMPC’s “Forest School” program, implemented by Fundacion CMPC, aims to teach children about forests and their role in the planet’s ecosystem.

Bárbara Hernández has had a successful career. In 2020, she crossed the Beagle Channel and Lake Chungará. She is also the first woman from South America to have achieved the “Triple Crown” of open water swimming. The award is given to athletes who swim across the English Channel, the Catalina Channel, and circumnavigate Manhattan Island.

In addition, Barbara is nearing the achievement of the “Ocean’s Seven,” the ultimate challenge in open water swimming. It entails crossing seven of the most challenging channels across five continents, and it involves swimming over 200 kilometers, requiring extraordinary physical and mental endurance. 

The channels consist of the North Channel between Ireland and Scotland, the Cook Strait between New Zealand’s North and South Islands, the Molokai Channel between the Hawaiian Islands of Oahu and Molokai, the English Channel between England and France, the Catalina Channel in California, the Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco, and the Tsugaru Strait between the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido. 

As Minister Jaime Pizarro reflected on Bárbara’s significant achievements, he said, “The ability to chart a path to this milestone is immensely valuable,” reflecting Bárbara’s dedication, commitment, and perseverance. Additionally, we are discussing a novel and uncommon discipline that opens up a significant and motivating pathway for young people. These two aspects are truly crucial, and I congratulate her for her commitment to this wonderful endeavor and the outstanding record she has achieved.”

Bárbara Hernández stands out as a role model in Chilean sports: “This documentary clearly demonstrates how methodical and dedicated work can yield results. Barbara is also a staunch advocate for nature, working tirelessly to raise public awareness about ocean conservation and biodiversity. We are proud of her accomplishments and happy to support her successful career.”

Furthermore, the Chilean swimmer has received numerous accolades: she was the World Champion of the International Winter Swimming Association, ranked at the top of the cold-water swimming rankings for four consecutive years, and was named Woman of the Year by the same organization in 2021.

Now, we look forward to seeing how she tackles the Tsugaru Strait in Japan to achieve the coveted “Ocean’s Seven.”