Organizers say a preliminary tally shows just over 1,000 people took part in the 2018 Polar Plunge in Rochester. The sun was shining but temperatures were mainly in the single digits above zero for those taking a quick dip into the frigid water at Foster Arend Park for the popular Rochester Winterfest event.

Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson, who has been one of the top organizers of the Rochester Polar Plunge, reported Sunday morning that preliminary figures show that over $230,000 was raised for the Minnesota Special Olympics and the over 8,000 athletes supported through its programs for individuals with developmental, intellectual and cognitive disabilities. A total of about $2.2 million has been raised for the Special Olympics during the previous 16 years of the Rochester Polar Plunge.

There was a bit of excitement at the start of the event Saturday afternoon when a couple hot air balloonists took the plunge by dipping their baskets into the water before soaring back into the sky. One of them experienced some difficulty with the take-off following the “plunge” and came close to crashing into the large tent set up on the shore of the pond to warm up the soaking wet and shivering participants after their plunges (watch the video)

 

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