Polar Plunge: swimming in icy water

Quiz by: englishatadistance

We've all been trying to avoid the snow and ice, but today, more than a hundred dove into it
headfirst. It was all for this year's Polar Plunge in Mahomet. All these people turned themselves into
walking snowmen to raise money for Special Olympics Illinois. WCIA 3's Megan Villa is here, but she
was there, and Megan a great turnout this year.

That's right Jeff. The Lake of the Woods was packed. I was freezing and all I did was watch, but
more than a hundred people threw their gloves, coat and scarves to the side for a great cause.

I'm probably crazy, but it's a lot of fun.

There was a lot of anticipation in the air as more than 100 people got ready to take the plunge.

I gotta carry her in, so it's going to be a slow approach, then I'm just gonna jump in right afterwards.

I am waterproof.

Some were barefoot, shirtless, and some dressed like a fairy.

Are you nervous to jump in there?

No. I'm just ready to get it done.

Organizations from all over central Illinois, including a few familiar faces, jumped into the icy cold
Lake of the Woods for people like Nicholas Ferris.

It's great. The time of your life really. If I didn't do this, I would not be having fun in my life.

He says the Special Olympics has given him the opportunity to be himself and today he fits right in.

Totals are still being counted, but so far the event has raised more than five, sorry, fifty thousand
dollars, and Jeff, I almost messed up that number because all I can think about is you diving
headfirst into Lake of the Woods.

That's fantastic to hear that amount of money. I know our team raised nearly five hundred, but fifty
thousand dollars for such a great cause. Thanks a lot Meagan.

While the event was all about having fun, it was also about staying safe. Ambulance was standing by
for plungers and other crowd members. EMTs were joined by the Corn Belt diving team with rafts
and diving suits ready. The main concerns were water safety and preventing hypothermia.

We're here dedicated to this day. To make sure that, you know, everybody goes home safe at the
end of the day.

According to the experts, in all the years Mahomet has hosted a Polar Plunge, there has thankfully
never been an emergency rescue.
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