Tag Archives: Olalla

Amusing Monday: Baring for the cold in annual New Year celebration

The Polar Bear Plunge in Olalla is an age-old tradition of jumping into the cold waters of Puget Sound on New Year’s Day. Olalla in South Kitsap is just one of many places throughout the region and across the globe where swimmers dare to reinvigorate themselves by washing away the year 2016 and welcoming a new year.

Colin Eisenhut wears a polar bear mask while taking the Polar Bear Plunge in Olalla. Photo: Meegan M. Reid, Kitsap Sun
Colin Eisenhut wears a polar bear mask while taking the Polar Bear Plunge in Olalla yesterday.
Photo: Meegan M. Reid, Kitsap Sun

Swimmers — including Colin Eisenhut, who jumped from the Olalla bridge wearing a polar bear mask — were cold enough and quite amusing yesterday, but I was able to locate some videos that might just make you shiver to watch them. For the Olalla event, photographer Meegan Reid posted 35 very nice photos on the Kitsap Sun website.

I wasn’t aware that snow swimming was such a sport until my wife Sue pointed me toward an amusing video that showed up on her Facebook page. After searching the term “snow swimming,” I sorted through dozens of videos to come up with a few I hope you enjoy.

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‘Polar bears’ everywhere are attracted to icy shores

Every year in communities throughout the country, groups of people congregate around icy pools of water and stun themselves with cold water.

They carry banners with names like Polar Bear Club or Penguin Plunge.

From what I gather on the Internet, fitness guru Bernarr Macfadden was the first “polar bear,” founding the Coney Island Polar Bear Club in 1903.

“It was his belief that a dip in the ocean during the winter can be a boon to one’s stamina, virility and immunity,” according to the Polar Bear Club’s Web site.

So here are a few videos of polar bear activities from around the country, beginning with one, above right, from Pittsburgh, where people jump into the Monongahela River.
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