Featured Friday: A Very Chilly Polar Bear Plunge
As many of you Marylanders know The Special Olympics Polar Bear Plunge was cancelled for the first time since the Plunge has started. The Plunge, which started back in ’97, has seen its fair share of winter weather. There has been ice, sleet, blizzards, and a frozen Bay. Still, people from around the state have traveled to Sandy Point State Park to jump in the Bay in the middle of January. This year was very different.
With the wind chill the outside temperature was less than 20 degrees. I’m sure many plungers where thrilled to not have to jump in the Bay in those conditions. But what many people don’t know is the Super Plungers still plunged.
Super Plungers are a special group of individuals who vow to raise $10,000 each for The Special Olympics. With this $10,000 raised these Special Plungers jump into the Bay once an hour for 24 Hours. This event begins Friday morning at 9am with their first plunge.
Through out the day you may have seen news coverage of the Super Plungers jumping in and out of the water. I got to talk first hand with a Super Plunger, My Dad. At 7pm my Dad called to tell me, “Lynds. It’s really really cold out there. The wind is crazy. And they have to shovel chunks of ice out of the water as the waves break on the sand.” The weather conditions at Sandy Point were the craziest they have ever been. Due to the wind and the shift of the tide the waves were out of control. As the waves went up to form they would freeze. This made it that when the waves were crashing down it was just ice breaking onto the beach.
Around 10pm they Super Plungers were being told that the wind and the water conditions were going to be too bad to plunge. After 12pm the plungers took a break until 5am Saturday morning. Right before the Saturday plunges were cancelled the Super Plungers had to make the decision to finish their 24 plunges or throw in the towel. Many decided that 17 were enough. The plungers who decided to stay and finish plunging had rules they had to follow for their safety. They were only allowed to dip their feet in the water and they had to go in two at a time for safety reasons.
So as Marylanders go to take the plunge on its rescheduled date, March 8th 2014, just remember those who have taken their plunge already. As you run in for your one plunge in March remember that on that cold day in January. Where a special group of people known as the super plungers pledged to jump in the bay once an hour for 24 hours.
This blog post was written by Route One Apparel blogger, Lyndsie Taylor.