Cold for a Cause: Chicago's Polar Plunge Returns In-Person to Lake Michigan

NBC Universal, Inc.

Chicago's Polar Plunge, a popular wintertime staple, made its return to North Avenue Beach Sunday, ushering in massive crowds and brave participants.

The music was blasting as plungers donned their bathing suits and sprinted into Lake Michigan.

With the air and water temperatures both in the 30s, it was certainly chilly. But the smiles, cheering and the cause kept participants going.

"Cold, but it’s great, the feeling, it’s all warm everywhere out here," one participant said.

"People are worth freezing for, that’s what is in our head right now," another commented.

The fundraiser, which is in its 22nd year, was designed to support the more than 7,500 Special Olympics athletes who compete year-round in Chicago. This year, more than $1.6 million dollars were raised.

Several NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago team members also got in on the fun, jumping in with the last round of plungers.

"Cold, really cold, freezing, I feel alive," said one brave participant.

Contact Us