DENVER (CBS4) – City Park went polar on Saturday for the Special Olympics Polar Plunge as athletes and volunteers braved frigid temperatures and got all wet for a good cause.
Cody Field, 22, is a big fan of winter and all that comes with it.
“I was in World Winter Games two years ago and got three gold medals,” Field said.
He is just one athlete who is part of Special Olympics Colorado, the organization that benefitted from Saturday’s plunge.
Mindy Watrous with Special Olympics Colorado said City Park’s 5-K and Polar Plunge is one of the organization’s biggest fundraisers.
“We raise every dollar in the community; we don’t charge our athletes to participate,” Watrous said.
While the temperatures led to a break in the pool and forced them to make a few changes, the event continued on. People lined up to have buckets of ice cold water poured over them in what they then called the Polar Pail Challenge.
“We are nothing if we are not adaptable at Special Olympics,” Watrous said. “Everybody that came to take the plunge is going to take it from the top instead of the bottom.”
“I just got doused with a bucket of ice water,” a participant yelled.
While the plunge was a little bit different, the outcome was still the same — raising awareness — and brought in nearly $160,000.
“It’s about awareness, it’s about letting people see the tremendous abilities of our athletes rather than their disabilities,” Watrous said.
Special Olympics Colorado has its last Polar Plunge of the season next Saturday at the Boulder Reservoir.