If you've always wanted to be a part of an “extreme” event — this is your opportunity. Special Olympics Kansas will host 10 polar plunges throughout the state starting Jan. 30 through March 6.


If you've always wanted to be a part of an “extreme” event — this is your opportunity. Special Olympics Kansas will host 10 polar plunges throughout the state starting Jan. 30 through March 6.

The extreme event is to raise money for Special Olympics for the almost 5,000 athletes in Kansas who train and compete in 22 sports and receive basic health screenings. The Polar Plunge is organized much like a walk-a-thon. Participants will get donations from people who sponsor them to brave the icy water. Many plungers create personal Web pages to seek donations from friends and family.

Several levels are available for participants, depending on their level of cold tolerance. The “Plunger” will take the plunge at one of the 10 locations; the “Super Plunger” will plunge in Pittsburg, every hour for 12 hours; or the “Chicken” has declared “too chicken to splash, but I'll pay the cash.” Some plunge sites will have a 5K/l mile walk “Strut” in conjunction with the activities. Last year a total of 816 plungers and 290 strutters donned zany costumes, shivered in the blowing snow, survived icy water and ran or walked with 2200 spectators observing the crazy antics.

Sites hosting plunges in 2010 include: Kansas City Metro (Shawnee Mission Park), Topeka, Manhattan, Hays, Salina, Emporia, Pittsburg, Wichita, Dodge City and Lawrence. Details of each location can be found at www.ksso.org and then click on the Polar Bear.

For more information, contact Jana Fornelli at fornelli@ksso.org or Luke Schulte at schultel@ksso.org. Either can be reached at (913) 236-9290.