Crazy or What?! Why Hundreds Will Jump Into Frigid Superior Bay Saturday

Darren Danielson
Updated: February 15, 2020 07:50 PM

Would you jump into the frigid waters of Superior Bay, in February?


Saturday is one of the Northland's most popular winter events. Several hundred people will be participating in the 19th annual Duluth polar plunge.

This cold craziness is the Special Olympics polar plunge. The annual event helps support Special Olympics of Minnesota which focuses on inclusion for adults and kids with intellectual disabilities.

Duluth plunge coordinator, Mike Thamm says this all started as a fraternal order of police project.

"The first year we had 37 plungers, mostly cops and it was such a blast that we did it again the next year, and it just grows and grows. This Saturday we expect 800 plungers to be down there."

Special Olympics athletes participate in the same sports as Olympic athletes. Track and field events, gymnastics, bowling, equestrian events, even golf.

"I enjoy competing against friends," athlete Erik Anderson told us. "It's fun even if I don't do well I still love doing it," he addeded.

The reason so many people take the plunge every year is because of the joy, smiles, and good health the Special Olympics games bring. Some of the athletes, like Sean Kunze even take the plunge themselves. "I'm 35 and I've been in special Olympics for many years, doing a lot of sports." As evidenced by the numerous medals he was proudly wearing around his neck for our interview.

On plunge day you'll see folks dressed up in costumes, or doing dance routines. It's a fabulously fun time, for a great cause.

Special Olympics education manager, Devin Kaasa told us, "We always like to say were more alike than we are different and I think coming out and having that common interest of sports really goes a long way."

And as Mike Thamm pointed out, taking the plunge is a lot quicker than other events that give you a T-shirt when your done.

"You don't have to train for it and after about a minute and and half, you still get the shirt."

A $75 dollar minimum donation is all that's required to register right up to plunge time. If you just want to donate you can do that online. Click here for more.


Darren Danielson

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