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Taking the Plunge: Bend's Polar Plunge Goes Virtual 

Special Olympics Oregon is keeping the spirit of the plunge alive this year with a month-long virtual celebration

Ah... the annual Polar Plunge. A beloved winter tradition involving wacky costumes, fundraising and a storm of brave souls rushing into the frigid Deschutes River. We all know that the traditional is no longer expected and so the Bend area Polar Plunge will look a little different this year. Special Olympics Oregon is keeping the spirit of the plunge alive this year with a month-long virtual celebration.

"Freezin' February" allows anyone across the Northwest or nation to join in for a month of fundraising and cold-water fun. Participants can choose to plunge only or join in a 5K/10K virtual run or stroll. Teams or individuals that raise over $50 will receive custom swag and prizes.

  • Courtesy Special Olympics of Oregon

This year, SOOR is encouraging all plungers to get creative. Fill up an unused kiddie pool, have a snowball fight or slide down a freezing slip n' slide. They have options for those willing to get outside or those who prefer to stay home. Post your photo or video to share your creative and frosty plunging creations. SOOR reminds all plungers to be safe when diving into large bodies of water. Bring a buddy if you plan to dip into chilly rivers, lakes or oceans and remember to go feet first!

The month of freezing kicks off with a livestream celebration beginning on Monday, Feb. 1 at 10am. Each week features a new theme and virtual events throughout the month. Finish off the month with a virtual finale celebration on Saturday., Feb. 27 at noon.

Ready to "be bold and get cold?" Register yourself or your team at:


Check out the themes for each week throughout the month.

Week 1: Super Hero Week -featuring a virtual superhero dance party.

Week 2: Scavenger Hunt Week -with a live online trivia night.

Week 3: Sponsor Week -with a virtual coffee chat with sponsors.

Week 4: Super Plunge Week -with polar plunging events all week long.

About The Author

Megan Burton

A journalist and sometimes historian with Midwest roots, Megan found home in the PNW. When not covering local news & events, she spends her days desperately teaching her old dog new tricks and relearning to grow food in the fickle high desert.
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