Polar Bear Plunge

Winter hit Nebraska this week, in a big way.  A foot of snow, sub-zero temperatures, winds causing snow drifts of over three feet.  And to think winter still is over a week away!

But conditions were good for the annual Polar Bear Plunge!  This annual event, on behalf of the Special Olympics, gives participants an opportunity (?) to run and jump in freezing water!  An opportunity, yes, since each participant has to raise over $50 in pledges before they can take the plunge.  This year's event was Saturday, and over 150 people took advantage of the conditions (35 degrees, no wind) to plunge into the water.

The task was fairly simple.  Run down the slope, through the water, touch the bikini clad dummy, and run back to the warming station.  Groups went in teams, so you had a number of groups, backed up waiting for the plunge.


                   The Dummy



Miss River City and Miss Douglas County before

... and after

One nice story involved the Douglas County Corrections officers who went into the water with a Special Olympics athlete.  It was very touching as the young athlete screamed all the way in and was helped by the group of men.

Finally, the most original costume had to come from a group who represented bowling pins and a bowling ball. 




For me, the hard part was standing outside as I was fighting a cold.  There was nothing truly special about taking the photos, just special being there as part of the event.