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Swimmers plunge into the New Year at the annual Polar Bear Dip
Published: 01/07/2010 12:25:00
Narrator: "The date? New Years Day. The temperature outside? A balmy 15 degrees. The location? Auke Rec. The occasion? The Annual Polar Bear Dip."

Barbara Greening, one of the five original founding members of the Polar Bear Dip, tells us "This is our 17th year, it got started because one day, it was a beautiful day like this, we were coming down from Eaglecrest after a fabulous time skiing and we were just so charged up we just said, lets just go jump in the water. And this was the last day of New Years and we said you know what? We need to do it for the first day of New Years. Who else but people that are full of spirit, love of life, would come and jump in this forty degree water?"

Narrator: "Certainly not me, but there were around a hundred people looking forward to it."

I asked an Attendee, "You came clear from Vancouver just to jump in the icy cold water?"

Her reply was "Yep, Ive been hearing about it for years, and finally got to come up for the first time last year so..."

I then asked "So was this GOT to come up, or COERCED INTO coming up?" (Bystanders Laugh)

Her Reply was "GOT to come up! Im in college now and Im more in charge of my Winter Break".

Narrator: "Coercion aside, there must be some compelling reason for all of this."

I asked some more attendees, "What on Earth possessed you to come out and do this?" Their replies varied somewhat, "Masochism", "Tradition", "Great way to kick off the New Year" and "Lost a Bet".

Narrator: All together now. Ready? Set, Go!

(a large group of people dash into the water, cheering with excitement and audibly gasping at the effect of the frigid water on their heretofore comfortably warm extremities)

Narrator: "I noticed that nobody lingered in the water very long, but they were still happy for having done the dip on New Years Day."

Another attendee commented "Yeah, Happy New Year everybody this is awesome, a great high tide, so you didnt have to go far down the beach, sunshine, what more could you ask for?"

Narrator: What more you say? How about a nice warm fire afterward to ward off the chills? The perfect complement to this popular annual event.



By: Rik Pruett - rik@kath.tv