The Eastern Townships is known as a region that is host to a wide array of winter sports and activities. When people think of winter sports, however, the tendency is to think of skiing, skating, snowshoeing or similar bundle-up activities. It may come as a surprise, then, to know that a group on Lake Memphremagog is getting ready for their fifth annual winter swimming competition. “What I say is ‘a bad joke’ takes a wrong turn and leads to an adventure,’” said Phil White, founder and director of Kingdom Games, the Vermont-based group that organizes the winter swim, explaining that the first edition took place after he posted a photo of an ice-cutter owned by the town of Newport, Vermont, on the Kingdom Games’ Facebook page with the caption, “anybody want to go swimming?” Although he had meant it as a joke, White said that a group of lake swimmers who had recently returned from a trip to Europe took him up on the offer claiming that they had been interested in starting a winter swim but lacked a venue. See full story in the Monday, Dec. 31 edition of The Record.