Polar Bear Plunge

Over 500 people (those crazy Minnesotans!) showed up one winter morning in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, to take a plunge into the freezing lake (a hole has been cut in the ice for this specific reason). The Polar Bear Plunge, as the event is called, is an annual event held in many places to benefit the Special Olympics.

Jeff Shaw of City Pages took a plunge over the weekend, and lived to blog about it:

I arrived at the lake early, just as registration was beginning at 9 a.m., so I could photograph the volunteers from local law enforcement cutting a hole in the frozen lake. The quiet registration soon gave way to a throng. There were more than 400 online registrations, and more than 500 people did the plunge overall -- a White Bear Lake record.

The outlandish costumes (one man's top three: the Ghostbusters; Twister; the Wizard of Oz cast) added to the festive atmosphere, and so did some judiciously chosen music playing from outdoor speakers. Strolling down to the jump-off point, I recall thinking "If you're going to freeze to death, you might as well do so to the tune of Rick James' 'Superfreak.'" And then, the water!

Link | Gallery - Thanks Jeff!


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Hey that's me in that picture! Dang crazy minnesotans! I remember that moment as my life flashed before my eyes, thinking to myself, well your here, you gotta do it now!
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Interesting. Ice swimming is apparently so unusual in the US that it is seen only in the form of charity events or some publicity stunt. While where I live it's the most common thing that wouldn't raise an eyebrow.
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