Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Emanuel on Polar Plunge: "There's No Way To Prepare For This"




    Mayor Rahm Emanuel talks about his game plan for tackling Sunday's Polar Plunge with Jimmy Fallon, as well as the parting gift he plans to give "The Tonight Show" host. Emanuel also said he stands prepared to hold up his end of the bargain and appear on Fallon's show. (Published Friday, Feb. 28, 2014)

    Rahm Emanuel's Polar Plunge strategy is pretty straightforward.

    "I'm not staying very long," the Chicago mayor said Friday. "This is not where I'm doing my lap swimming as I did this morning. In. Out. Dry off."

    Rahm Emanuel Unveils His Polar Plunge Outfit

    [CHI] Rahm Emanuel Unveils His Polar Plunge Outfit
    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel shows off what he plans to wear to wade into Lake Michigan on Sunday for the Polar Plunge with Jimmy Fallon. (Published Friday, Feb. 28, 2014)

    Emanuel joins "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon on Sunday morning at North Avenue Beach to plunge into frigid Lake Michigan waters to support the Special Olympics. Emanuel challenged him to take the plunge in exchange for an appearance on Fallon's show.

    "I give him a lot of credit for taking the challenge," Emanuel said.

    Emanuel Gets Emotional About Special Olympics

    [CHI] Emanuel Gets Emotional About Special Olympics
    Mayor Rahm Emanuel began tearing up at a Friday press conference while talking about the Special Olympics, the main cause for Sunday's Polar Plunge in Chicago. (Published Friday, Feb. 28, 2014)

    Now faced with below-freezing temperatures and potential snowfall, Fallon perhaps didn't know exactly what he was getting himself into.

    "Of course I said, 'Yeah, I'm in. Yeah, I'm in. Polar Plunge. That's me! Let's do it!'" Fallon said this week before noting, "I have no idea what the Polar Plunge is."

    Once he figured it out ...

    "It sounds like a nightmare," Fallon said. "You run into Lake Michigan and I'm going to jump in with the mayor, and it's freezing in Chicago right now."

    It's all for a good cause, though, and Emanuel said he stands ready to hold up his end of the bargain.

    "Once he jumps in, I will go on 'The Tonight Show,'" Emanuel said.

    Fallon's parting gift? "I'm thinking of buying Jimmy Fallon a bag of ice so we can always remember this."