About 20,000 people yesterday took part in the annual Sun Moon Lake International Swimming Carnival in Nantou County, with extra disease prevention measures in place amid COVID-19 concerns, organizers said.
Nantou County Commissioner Lin Ming-chen (林明溱) said that businesses in the popular tourist area were relieved to learn that the annual event would go ahead after the central government approved it in light of the additional measures.
This year, the organizers checked each participant’s temperature, and required all participants to wear a mask up until entering the water and immediately after finishing the 3km swim.
Photo: EPA-EFE / Ritchie B. Tongo
The swimmers were also divided into four groups with different time slots, and the intervals between the starting times were longer than in the past, the organizers said.
According to the organizers, 21,828 people, including 195 foreign nationals, signed up as part of 1,998 teams for the event, which has been held since 1983.
Participants included former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and a team led by Australian Representative to Taiwan Gary Cowan, who took his daughter and colleagues to the event following a challenge from Canadian Representative to Taiwan Jordan Reeves, Cowan wrote on Twitter.
Photo courtesy of the Australian Office in Taipei
When he first arrived in Taiwan, he was told that Taiwanese perform three outdoor activities in their lifetime: climb Yushan (玉山), swim across Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) and bike around Taiwan proper, Cowan said.
Cowan, who has been in Taiwan for two years and nine months, said he has been promoting “sports diplomacy,” and has explored Taiwan’s natural beauty through hiking and cycling.
He has also participated in the Taipei 101 climb, and hiked up Yushan and Syueshan (雪山), he said.
He also joined members of the Australia New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Taipei on a cycling trip from New Taipei City’s Tamsui District (淡水) to Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻) in Pingtung County, in addition to other cycling trips including one from Hualien County to Tainan.
In June, he rode the circuit traversed by riders in the annual King of the Mountain event, and next month he plans to cycle from Taipei to Tainan, he said.
Yesterday’s swim was a “once in a lifetime experience,” Cowan wrote on Twitter.
ONGOING PROBE: A former Military Intelligence Bureau colonel, major general and another colonel, as well as five other people, have been questioned by prosecutors The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered that a retired colonel from the Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) calling himself Taiwan’s “first special agent” be detained and held incommunicado as part of an ongoing investigation into espionage allegations targeting at least three former bureau officials. The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office was seeking to detain former MIB colonel Chang Chao-jan (張超然) over his alleged involvement in introducing retired agents to Chinese national security authorities and passing confidential documents to China. Chang’s actions, if proven, would contravene the National Security Act (國家安全法), which carries a prison term of three to 10 years, and the National Intelligence
The US House of Representatives’ China Task Force, launched by Republicans earlier this year, yesterday proposed the China task force act, a package of 137 pieces of legislation, seven of which involve Taiwan, in the hope of getting it passed before the 117th US Congress convenes on Jan. 3. The act encompasses a wide range of issues, including combatting Beijing’s influence around the globe, establishing the US’ dominance in determining 5G network standards and means for bringing UN members to task for abusing their influence within the UN system. The seven acts involving Taiwan address concerns such as the Taiwan Assurance Act
Chinese health authorities investigating a COVID-19 outbreak have said that they discovered live coronavirus on frozen food packaging, a finding that suggests the virus can survive in cold supply chains. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday said that it had found traces of live COVID-19 on the outer packaging of frozen cod in the eastern city of Qingdao, marking the first time that live coronavirus has been detected on the outside of refrigerated goods. Researchers were investigating the source of a cluster of cases linked to a hospital in Qingdao. Genetic traces had previously been found in samples of
A Chinese soldier apprehended earlier this week by the Indian Army after he strayed across a tense de facto border was on Tuesday night handed back to China, an Indian government source in New Delhi said yesterday. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldier had on Monday been captured in the Demchok area of eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army said in a statement. The Chinese military also released a statement, saying that Corporal Wang Yalong was handed over early yesterday. New Delhi on Monday said that it had detained Wang after he crossed into Indian-controlled territory, while China announced that Wang had gotten