With the temperatures higher than they’ve been all week, the conditions were perfect for the Varsity Sailing team to take part in the 2018 Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge on Saturday, January 27, 2018.
This year, the 22nd anniversary of the “coolest” Maryland tradition, otherwise known as the MSP Polar Bear Plunge, took place from January 25th-27th 2018 at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis. Each January, except one in 1997, over 10,000 bold thrill-seeking plungers brave the cold to rush into the freezing waters of the 30 degree Chesapeake Bay to benefit the 7,549 athletes of Special Olympics Maryland.
The event took place over the course of the weekend, and participants could participate in any plunge that they wanted as long as they either raised or donated at least $75 to support Special Olympics Maryland. According to their website, Special Olympic Maryland provides “year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for people with intellectual disabilities.”
The Sailing team began fundraising towards the end of last year, and by their 3 p.m. plunge time on Saturday they had exceeded their $2000 goal and raised over $4000. Not only did the money continue to allow Special Olympics Maryland to provide free training to disabled athletes around the state but, it also encouraged the Sailing team to plunge into the chilly water for a good cause while having fun team bonding.
“I was just vibing in life and mild frostbite,” freshman skipper Andrew Houghton said about the Plunge.
If you’re interested in taking the plunge yourself, grab some friends and prepare for next year’s event – which is sure to draw an even larger crowd!
Photo credit: Evan Clayton