Special Olympics DC’s Virtual Polar Plunge

Like so many things during the pandemic, Special Olympics DC’s Polar Plunge has gone virtual this year. Held last year at Yards Park, this annual fundraiser features participants taking an ice cold dip into outdoor swimming pools, but just because it’s happening virtually, that doesn’t mean it still can’t be fun. “Some people are going to the Bay or to lakes, if you can do that,” explains Special Olympics DC president Nicole Preston. “Or in your backyard, you can get squirted with the garden hose. You can get an inflatable kiddie pool and jump in that. You can fill in the tub with cold water and ice and sit in that.” Once registered, participants will receive a Google link where they can upload video of their plunge and compete in the event’s various contests, including best costume, top fundraiser, and most inventive plunge. The virtual celebration of the polar plunge videos will take place on Feb. 26. Teammates—unified partners, in Special Olympics lingo—and the event’s typical first plungers Novie Craven and Chris Bence are working on an especially creative setup for their plunge. Craven, a Special Olympics DC athlete who has medaled in various sports, including a gold on the national stage, says “Special Olympics can literally change millions of people’s lives. It changed not just mine, but everybody around the world that knows about Special Olympics. I really appreciate that people you don’t know donate their time and their passion for Special Olympics.” Registration for the Polar Plunge is available at give.specialolympicsdc.org. The deadline to submit a video is Feb. 14. Prices vary.