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Swimming in the Seine
As Paris embarks on a project to clean up the Seine ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games, we look at the process of readying the city’s river for its water-seeking dwellers, explore how it could affect the city and meet the guerilla urban swimmers who welcome the move.
Sisu: The art of Finnish fortitude
Finland is a swimmer’s paradise and residents take to the water year-round. In colder months the practice often involves carving a hole into ice – a demonstration of “sisu”, the unique Finnish concept of fortitude in the face of adversity. Monocle joins journalist Katja Pantzar on an icy dip, to explore the mindset that dates back more than 500 years. Discover more stories and ideas from the region with ‘The Monocle Book of the Nordics’, available now from The Monocle Shop.
As the fitness business pulls in new and inventive players, how can cities encourage their citizens to live healthier lives?
Waterside Expo: Helsinki
The Helsinki Swimming Stadium, originally earmarked for the 1940 Olympic Games, is a winning attraction in the Finnish capital. An oasis among lush lawns where residents come for relaxation and training – after the compulsory jump, that is.
Alpino special: Slovenian ski-makers
With hi-tech production at the heart of its business, Slovenian brand Elan has carved a reputation at the forefront of ski design. Monocle films headed to the mountains to visit its factory and learn about its past, present and future.
Let the games begin
Serbia's recovery from the disasters of nationalism has been slow but sporting success offers a new vision of what it means to be a Serb. Monocle films travels to Belgrade to meet the future stars of tennis and football.
Surf haven - Ericeira
Ericeira, a small fishing village north of Lisbon on the Portuguese coast, is also a world-class surfing town. People come from as far away as Australia for great waves, good seafood and a relaxed "old Portugal" feeling that persists even as its popularity grows. Monocle films pays a visit to the surf haven this summer.
Tune in and work out
In Japan, if you're not doing ‘Rajio Taiso’ you're either dead or you've slept in. Millions of Japanese rise early every morning to get together and do radio exercises – the rest do them at work.
With membership fees in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, clubhouses designed by star architects and troupes of attentive young female caddies - golf is the ultimate statement of wealth in South Korea - and business is booming. Monocle's correspondent Danielle Demetriou talks about her journey around South Korea's most coveted golf courses.
The Lusophone Games
The Jogos da Lusofonia may not have the same draw as the Commonwealth Games or attract the corporate sponsorship of the Olympics. But the gathering of the old Portuguese empire showed that no matter how tenuous the links to Lisbon, there's plenty of strength in numbers.
Beijing: Olympic gold rush
The world will be focused on Beijing this August and, if all goes to the Communist Party's plan, we will be overawed by the glittering lights and maximalist construction of a building boom whose bill runs into tens of billions of yuan. Monocle's Asia Bureau Chief Fiona Wilson visited the city to find out if this is nation-branding folly on a gargantuan scale, or the starting pistol of the Chinese century.