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France falls to Germans in nude swim tourney

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France falls to Germans in nude swim tourney
A man holds medals during the naturist swimming championship. Photo: Sebastien Bozon/AFP
12:07 CET+01:00
France is known for its clothing-optional beaches, but this weekend it was an international nude swimming competition that drew au naturel swimmers. And of course the Germans took the most medals.

Despite the arrival of cold autumn weather, the only people wearing clothes at an international swimming competition this weekend in eastern France were the referees.

They were outnumbered by the some 230 naturists from France, Switzerland, Sweden, Canada, Luxembourg, Spain, Italy and Germany who dropped their clothes for the French Federation for Naturism-organized event in Mulhouse.

Of that crowd 180 participants actually took part in the 43rd edition of the annual tournament in order “to swim for pleasure” and to show “respect for others and the body”, according to RTL radio.

The vice-president of the French Federation for Naturism Yves Leclerc told RTL that “the windows of the swimming pool had been covered beforehand in order not to shock the neighbours and also so that the participants would feel at ease.”

Activities included breast stroke, butterfly, backstroke and freestyle relay.

In the end the German squad, which included some professional swimmers, took the most medals, with second place going to France.

See also: Nudity on the beaches of France: Dos and don'ts

 

Naturists are constantly making headlines in France.

In September a French naturist walked into a spot of trouble after bumping into police during a nude stroll around Fontainebleau Forest.

And last year a French court freed a naked hiker, who had been charged with indecent exposure after bumping into a mother and her son on a nude stroll through the woods. The verdict was seen as a landmark ruling.

According to the FFN, France is home to around 1.5 million naturists. 

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