Special Olympics Looking For People To Take The ‘Polar Plunge’

DETROIT (WWJ) – Winter has come back in full force, and a local charity group is asking you to embrace the cold and let it embrace you.

Special Olympics-Michigan is looking for people willing to jump into the Detroit River in February as part of the largest “Polar Plunge” in the state.

President and CEO Lois Arnold has taken the plunge twice and said it’s quite the experience.

“You just have to do it on a leap of faith and yes, it absolutely will take your breath away, and when you come up you just are thinking you want to get out of the water as fast as you can,” said Arnold.

One time the air temperature was five degrees.

“I had all kinds of crazy thoughts going into it and I was just sure I was going to die. But you know what, you don’t and it’s invigorating and then you’re so surprised. You just go for it and it’s a blast,” she said.

So what kind of people take part?

“All kinds of people. I am telling you it’s a riot. There’s men, there’s women, there’s children, there’s families,” she said.

It’s not just about jumping into freezing cold water though. The whole thing is a fundraiser for Special Olympics-Michigan. Participants are asked to collect pledges from their family and friends in support of their plunge.

After raising funds, participants dress up in crazy costumes and to jump in and freeze their fur for a good cause.

Proceeds from these plunges help support year-round sports training and athletic competition for more than 20,670 children and adults with intellectual disabilities in Michigan.

The event will be held Saturday, Feb. 18 at Milliken State Park in Detroit. About 300 people are expected. Registration begins at 10 a.m., with plunges to start at 11 a.m. Find more information at www.somi.org.

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