The Largest Open Water Swim In America

The Largest Open Water Swim In America

It is not a competition, but a celebration.

The Maryland State Police host the Polar Bear Plunge, the largest polar bear swim in the US, held annually at Sandy Point State Park in the Chesapeake Bay.

The event raises funds for the Special Olympics – an estimated 11,000 people participated in 2009 raising a cumulative total of US$3.1 million. Since its start in 1997, 25,000 Polar Bear Plungers have raised over US$6.6 million.

Professional football players, local celebrities, media personalities and elected officials have joined the field to raise money and celebrate the Special Olympics Maryland programs.

Part of these funds is used to underwrite the cost of sending athletes to the Special Olympics Winter Games and Summer Games, that will include a 1.5K race at the 2011 World Summer Games in Athens, Greece.

The event will also include a Miss and Little Miss Polar Bear Plunge and Miss Hypothermic Hon where children compete with creative attire and show off their talent in reciting a poem or singing a song about the Plunge.

A video of the event is here.

World Open Water Swimming Association