Making waves in Belgrade
Global naturists unite for the 51st International Swimming Gala 2023
Naturists from more than sixteen countries undoubtedly made a splash this past weekend as the 51st international naturist swimming competition, known as the International Swimming Gala 2023, successfully concluded in Belgrade. The event took place from November 3 to 5, 2023, and was impeccably hosted by Naturist Organization of Serbia (NOS) and EuNATCom (INF-FNI), attracting competitors and fans from across the globe. Once again, this year's organizers extended their warmest welcome and demonstrated exceptional hospitality.
The annual Swimming Gala stands as an esteemed international naturist swimming competition, strictly adhering to all swimming regulations. True to tradition, the competition was officiated by judges possessing FINA referee licenses. Distinguished participants converged from various corners of the world to partake in this annual swimming contest. Enthusiastic supporters were also encouraged to join and offer their unwavering cheers from the stands.
In the early hours, athletes from sixteen different nations convened after a hearty breakfast, sharing pleasant smiles and greetings, albeit with a watchful eye on their fellow competitors. Following a delightful fifteen-minute stroll alongside the Danube, everyone arrived fully prepared for either for the competition or to boost the morale of the contenders.
The official commencement, orchestrated by INF and NOS, marked the beginning of the competition, with dedicated and determined competitors eagerly pursuing the coveted gold medals. The electric atmosphere at the 150-meter pool was further intensified by passionate fans who enthusiasticallycheered from the stands. Age-appropriate divisions were maintained for each heat, fostering intense competition among participants.
Post-competition, a welcomed poolside lunch was served, featuring delectable authentic Serbian cuisine. Subsequently, the pool was made available for a leisurely swim, though many athletes who had exerted themselves to the fullest opted to explore the charming city of Belgrade.
Upon returning to the hotel after another pleasant stroll along the Danube, attendees found that the attire requirement for the exquisite buffet dinner was simply a towel and a pair of flip-flops or slippers. This relaxed ambiance set the stage for the President of NOS and the INF to preside over the prize-giving ceremony. Each participating nation received a commemorative poster in honor of the 51st INF Swimming Gala, culminating in the presentation of the highly coveted trophies. In first place was Germany followed by the second Italy and United Kingdomthird place recipients. The evening continued with a joyful dance party, further accentuating the celebratory spirit.
The following morning, those who chose to extend their stay and not return home were treated to a guided tour of Serbia by the NOS President, whose remarkable knowledge of Serbia's history truly enriched the experience. The tour encompassed everything from the modern 21st-century shopping mall to an ancient 14th-century castle. Despite the onset of inclement weather in the early afternoon, the President ensured that the tour remained a memorable experience. Once again, it was a truly remarkable weekend event hosted by a gracious country and a dedicated federation. Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to both the organizers and the participants for making this another unforgettable event.
For those anticipating participating in the next competition, please note that France will be the host country. Keep an eye out on the INF-FNI website for details. 🪐
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