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Registration opens for all virtual Polar Plunge that supports Special Olympics Michigan

Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 3:36 PM EST
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MT. PLEASANT, Mich. (WJRT) - The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Special Olympics Michigan to shift its annual Polar Plunge event online but its organizers say that it can be just as fun as before.

Aaron Mills, the senior marketing and communications director for Special Olympics Michigan, said that the Polar Plunge season brings in around $1 million each year and that last year was the best season yet.

“Polar Plunge season is by far our biggest event that we do every year,” he said.

Each year, the Polar Plunge is a fun, social event but in the midst of a global pandemic, doing things how they have been done before just won’t work this year.

“Getting people together in large groups to jump into some water and you’re all hanging out and having a party afterwards doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense from a safety standpoint and so we tried to figure out the best way to pivot,” Mills said.

So, the Polar Plunge is going virtual and that means that people can take part in the event on their own in some do-it-yourself style fashions.

“There’s a lot of opportunities for people to kind of make this fun,” Mills said. “You can get out in the snow, you can get out in the water, dumping water on yourselves or you can do a run or walk. There’s tons of way to help get involved.”

Mills said that people can record themselves getting sprayed with water in the cold, making snow angels in their bathing suits, or whatever they choose. Special Olympics Michigan will share these videos or pictures.

The registration for the virtual event has already begun. People can still register through the end of February. More information about how to do that and the event itself can be found here.

While this will be a fun event to take part in this year, Mills said that it’s important to also remember what it is all about.

“We know our athletes miss being out there on the field and all of our volunteers miss being with them as well,” he said. “And so an event like the Polar Plunge, the money raised to doing that is going to help us get back to normal a whole lot faster.”

Mills said that Special Olympics Michigan hopes to compete again in 2021 after the pandemic shut down competition for most of 2020.

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