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Sudbury's annual polar plunge goes ahead without a frozen lake


Even with the sunshine and spring-like temperatures, the Greater Sudbury’s annual Polar Plunge organized by the Greater Sudbury Police Service (GSPS) took place Saturday to raise funds for Special Olympics Ontario.

The March 2 event was moved from its regular location to the municipal parking lots on Paris Street at the York Street intersection.

“Although this year looked a little different due to ice conditions on Ramsey Lake, it was still a great success thanks to all of our amazing event participants, volunteers, organizers and sponsors,” said GSPS in a social media post following the event.

Not letting the lack of ice on area lakes put the critical fundraiser ‘on ice’ organizers set up a large tank filled with icy water and portable saunas in the parking lot to ensure an authentic experience.

Funds raised at the event support local Special Olympics athletes.

“All monies raised today will remain in Sudbury,” said police.

As has become tradition, GSPS Chief Paul Pedersen opened the event with a speech noting the police service's admiration for Special Olympics Ontario and their athletes and their continued support for them.

“We’re doing this so they have the ability to play their sport and be the best they can be,” he said.

The event included a 50/50 draw with a jackpot prize of about $4,000. Organizers also had prizes for the top fundraisers, best costumes and most spirited participants.

There was a lot of excitement and cheering as members of the community jumped into the freezing water – though the plungers’ smiles were often replaced by more cringed faces or gasping as they hit the chilly waters before grabbing towels and heading to the saunas to warm up.

While the event did not exactly live up to its slogan of ‘Freezin’ for a reason’ given the warm weather it was still not the most pleasant experience for those participating.

The event is still a little more than $4,000 short of its fundraising goal of $30,000 at the time of this publication but donations can still be made online at the event’s CrowdChange page.

For more information on other Special Olympics events in northern Ontario, visit their website.

An overview of the the 2024 Sudbury Polar Plunge on March 2, 2024. Unlike past years, Ramsey Lake wasn't frozen over. (Facebook/Greater Sudbury Police Service)More pictures of the event can be found here. Top Stories

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