Press release: Be Bold, Get Cold During 2023 Bloomington Polar Plunge

Photo courtesy of Mark Todd Photography/Special Olympics Indiana

The following press release was sent to the Bloomingtonian Monday:

Be Bold, Get Cold During 2023 Polar Plunge

Annual Bloomington Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Indiana will take place Feb. 11 at Switchyard Park

BLOOMINGTON — Jumping into freezing water in the middle of winter may seem ridiculous, but for the past 24 years, thousands of people have braved the elements to support Special Olympics Indiana during the annual Polar Plunge.

The 2023 Polar Plunge season will kick off Jan. 28 and continue through March 4, with 18 different events happening around Indiana. The Bloomington Plunge will take place on Saturday, Feb. 11, at Switchyard Park. Registration will be held from 4-5 p.m. with the Plunge to follow at 5:30 p.m.

This bucket-list event challenge individuals and teams to be bold and get cold — taking an icy dip to demonstrate their commitment to the cause.

As Special Olympics Indiana’s signature fundraising series, participants must raise at least $85 for the chance to plunge at one of 15 locations statewide: Bloomington, Boonville, Borden, Fort Wayne, Greenwood, Indianapolis (Butler University and Eagle Creek Park), Muncie, North Manchester, Petersburg, South Bend, Terre Haute, Valparaiso, Versailles and West Lafayette. More than 3,000 individuals take the plunge in a typical year — many of them raising significantly more than the minimum.

Plungers who raise the $85 minimum will earn a commemorative long-sleeved T-shirt. For those who reach higher fundraising levels, additional prizes will include a metal tumbler, beach towel and more. Plus, the Virtual Plunge program is perfect for anyone who wants to join in the fun without getting their feet wet. Virtual Plungers are eligible to receive the same fundraising prizes, and on Plunge day, they can stay warm and dry while cheering on Polar Plunge participants from the shore.

Additionally, the Super Plunger program recognizes the bravest souls with the warmest hearts. Those who raise $4,000 or more and plunge at two sites will receive VIP treatment at the final event of the season as well as the top fundraising prize — a baseball-themed Polar Plunge jersey available exclusively for Super Plungers.

Back again for 2023, the Polar Plunge Virtual Run challenges runners and walkers of all abilities to complete a 5K or 10K anywhere and anytime during the 2023 season — through March 31. Virtual run participants who raise a minimum of $85 will receive a finisher’s medal and will be eligible for the same additional prizes as Polar Plungers.

All funds raised during Polar Plunge events benefit more than 16,000 athletes throughout Indiana and help ensure an ever-growing number of children and adults with intellectual disabilities can participate in the state’s sports, health, education and leadership programs at no cost. To date, the Polar Plunge has generated more than $10 million for Special Olympics Indiana.

The 2023 Polar Plunge series is presented by the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics Indiana. Additionally, events are supported locally by community organizations and businesses.

Visit to learn more about the 2023 Polar Plunge events, register and donate to participants.

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About Special Olympics Indiana

Special Olympics Indiana is a nonprofit organization that is part of the global Special Olympics movement, created by the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation for the benefit of persons with intellectual disabilities. Its vision is an inclusive world, driven by the power of sport, through which people with intellectual disabilities live active, healthy and fulfilling lives.

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