SI swimsuit models vie with Swiss scenery

The scenery couldn’t be better: the medieval chateau of Chillon, the waters of Lake Geneva and, lolling on a rock in the foreground, bikini-clad model Kate Bock.

SI swimsuit models vie with Swiss scenery
Kate Bock in front of the celebrated chateau of Chillion. Photo: yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

Bock and another skimpily attired model posed for photos in and around the lake for American magazine Sports Illustrated’s 50th anniversary swimsuit issue.

The annual issue, described by Vanity Fair as a cash register in the shape of a girl, went on sale on Tuesday, annoying feminists but pleasing others, including the canton of Vaud’s tourist office.

The office and Switzerland Tourism rolled out the red carpet for the magazine when it sent its photography team and cast of bikinied models to Switzerland for six days last August for on-location shooting.

“This project is a unique opportunity to present at a large-scale international level some of our major sites, such as the chateau of Chillon and Lavaux (the Unesco-designated vineyard area overlooking Lake Geneva),” Andreas Banholzer, director of the Vaud tourist office said in a news release issued on Tuesday.

An estimated 70 million readers of the swimsuit issue, published between the American football and baseball seasons, will see glimpses of Lake Geneva scenery — behind the bathing belles at the centre of attention.

Bock, from Canada, and Genevieve Morton, a model from South Africa, posed in the town of Vevey, in the vineyards of Lavaux and on the shores of the lake and in boats on the water.

Morton even provocatively posed topless, with one arm strategically placed to avoid revealing too much, on a sailboat in the middle of the lake with the Vaud Alps in the background.

Meanwhile, near Zermatt, American Emily DiDenato modeled a two-piece swimsuit in front of Switzerland’s iconic Matterhorn.

The issue features the likes of Kate Upton, Tyra Banks and Christie Brinkley who posed for shots elsewhere, in such places as the Cook Islands.

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IN PICTURES: Runners take on Swiss glacier race despite melt

Hundreds of runners braved a lung-busting ascent into the Alps in Switzerland's Glacier 3000 Run on Saturday, albeit on a shortened course due to summer heatwaves melting the ice.

IN PICTURES: Runners take on Swiss glacier race despite melt

The event’s 14th edition was back without limitations after being cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19 and run in 2021 with restrictions imposed due to the pandemic.

The race is normally run over 26.2 kilometres but was contested on a slightly modified 25.2km course this year due to the glacier melting, with the last pass over its surface shortened.

Runners make their way under a ski lift  on the glacier run in Switzerland

Runners make their way under a ski lift during the last kilometres of the Glacier 3000 run. (Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP)

“The accelerated melting of the top layer of the glacier has created a camber and a soft layer which the runner sinks into,” said race director Oliver Hermann.

“Rather than intervening to flatten the track, we preferred to deviate the course.”

Runners on last stretch of Switzerland's glacier run

On the final stretch of this year’s shortened course. (Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP)

The finish line is 1,886 metres higher than the start, at nearly 3,000 metres up in the mountains by the Scex Rouge peak.

READ ALSO: Heatwaves close off classic Swiss and Italian Alpine hiking routes

The route begins in the jet-set ski resort town of Gstaad, at 1,050 metres above sea level.

It passes through forests, green mountain pastures before heading into rocky lunar-like landscapes and taking in the Tsanfleuron Glacier.

The course follows the Saane river upstream for 15 km before climbing up 1,800 metres over the remaining 10 km to the finish line — at an altitude of 2,936 metres.

A couple hold their hands while walking on the melting Tsanfleuron Glacier above Les Diablerets

A couple hold hands while walking on the melting Tsanfleuron Glacier above Les Diablerets, where the Glacier 3000 Run took place on August 6th. (Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP)

Some 311 men and 98 women completed the individual course, while 50 two-person teams also took part.

READ ALSO: Why Switzerland’s glaciers are melting faster than usual this summer

The first man to finish was Kenyan competitor Geoffrey Ndungu in two hours and 17 minutes. He had finished in second place last year.

He was followed by compatriot Abraham Ebenyo Ekwam in 2:21 and then Switzerland’s Jonathan Schmid in 2:23.

Victoria Kreuzer was the first woman to finish, in 2:46, ahead of Nicole Schindler and Pascale Rebsamen — a Swiss clean sweep.