Polar Bear Plunge in Verdun

Super cold weekend after what has so far been a very mild winter makes the participants of this year’s Polar Bear Plunge seem all the more insane, or, in some cases, more insane than usual lol.

All I can tell you is that it was crazy ass cold out there with the temperature around -22 Celsius and about -40 C wind chill, and, trust me, it was mighty windy out there.

Anyway, this is one of those challenge things where you sponsor someone to basically do something that appears to be quite stupid, insane, dangerous or all of the above.

And all the proceeds go to the Special Olympics.

I thought it would be in the river like it was last year behind the old Guy Gagnon Arena, but the arena is being rebuilt as a cultural center so the event was moved to a pool besides the Auditorium. Sort of hard to imagine there will be a beach down there in 2017, eh?


Brrrrrrrr,  there were people there but someone also suggested that this is the one time that there may actually be more participants than there are observers. But keep in mind it’s getting the participant numbers up that makes it happen for this fundraising event.

No shortage of mascots at this event.


Many regional police departments and fire stations were represented here today so big thanks to all those who traveled to participate!

And they are off!!


It is surreal. You stand and sway and try to put your body at an angle that maybe cuts the wind chill and you watch semi naked people jumping in to water.                                             *insert “Canada” comment here*

Borough of Verdun Mayor, Jean-Francois Paranteau and his team getting ready.


All for a good cause.


Give them credit, this is not just another community event, it’s potentially dangerous.

Some colourful outfits.


Projet Montreal team complete with Black Watch Bagpiper.


Apparently Projet Montreal and the Black Watch teamed up for this one.  Piper Brian MacKenzie estimated that the bagpipes would probably stop functioning properly somewhere between two and three minutes in this weather.

In they go.


City Councillor Sterling Downey, Lieutenant Colonel Chris Phare of the Black Watch RHR, Poet Jeffrey Mackie.

How can they stand it? I was freezing my ass off bundled up.


One of the jokes circulating around was that it is actually a heated pool.

Next, Catherine Polson 2015 St-Patrick’s Parade Princess, Borough Councillor Luc Gagnon, local community organizer Tonya Hess.


It’s kind of strange, but a memorable and inspiring accomplishment just the same.

Sterling Downey had doubled back for a second jump.


Looks like some people actually enjoy this, did I mention being crazy helps?

The participants are probably not outside for more than 90 seconds in most cases. I had been outside for about 12 minutes at this point and it felt like parts of my face were missing.


Warmth awaits them.

I swear he is thinking third jump.


And with this shot I had reached beyond my comfort zone and all I wanted to do was get back inside the Auditorium to warm up.

It was a great event. Congrats to all the participants and major thanks to all those who worked to make this happen.

Special Olympics Quebec.


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