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DC Polar Plunge Goes Virtual to Benefit Special Olympics

Participants in last year’s Polar Plunge. (Photo courtesy Special Olympics DC)

ALEXANDRIA, VA-You’ve seen footage on the news. It’s the sight of people in swimsuits or trunks jumping into freezing water for charity. That’s the Polar Plunge.

This year, because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the organizers chose to make it a virtual event.  The aim of the 2021 DC Polar Plunge is to raise funds for Special Olympics DC (SODC). Every year the event provides 25 percent of funding for SODC. Money raised helps rent athletic facilities, purchase uniforms and equipment, and acquire medals and trophies.

“We are thrilled to offer the Polar Plunge virtually this year and we are even more excited to see how participants decide to take the plunge from home,” said Nicole Preston, President and CEO of Special Olympics D.C. “It is more important now than ever that we continue to support our athletes, and we hope that by giving participants the opportunity to plunge from home, families can still get the thrill of the polar plunge and raise important funds safely.”

To participate, raise a minimum of $100 for a commemorative t-shirt or mask and hand sanitizer. Submit a “taking the plunge”  video, which will be part of a highlight reel to be shown during a Feb. 27 celebration. The video can range from individuals or families plunging into their pools, ice-filled bathtubs, or any body of water.

Submit a video from now until Feb. 14 and you could be eligible to win some big prizes. Entries are accepted at or directly to the DC Polar Plunge Google Drive. 

To encourage participation, an alternative to the usual cold water dunk is permitted. Do something you’ve never done before and film it. Get creative!

If you want to sponsor a plunge, that is also welcome. To learn more and to register, visit

SODC hosts three competitions each year and plans to resume that routine once the pandemic ends. Kazan, Russia will host the 12th Special Olympics World Winter Games in 2022.

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Kevin Dauray

Kevin is Publisher's Assistant with The Zebra Press. He has been working for Alexandria's "Good News" newspaper since 2019. A graduate of George Mason University, he earned a bachelor's in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He also studied at the Columbia School of Broadcasting and holds a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University. He is an alumnus of T.C. Williams High School. Go Titans!

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