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Posted on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 5:15 p.m.

Registration open for Feb. 23 Polar Plunge at Michigan Stadium

By Kyle Austin


Christopher Eakin of Ann Arbor takes part in the 2011 Polar Plunge. file

Registration is now open for the Polar Plunge, Feb. 23, 2013 at Michigan Stadium, kicking off the athletic department-wide community service relationship with the Special Olympics of Michigan.

Pre-registration is now open online, and participants can also register the day of the event. Participants must raise $75 in order to take part.

Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. in the stadium’s tunnel entrance. After a pre-plunge talk from a celebrity judge, participants will jump into the cold pool onto the field. An award ceremony and lunch will follow the event.

Former Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr and Brady Hoke are scheduled to be celebrity judges for the event, along with Olympic swimmer Peter Vanderkaay, Miss Washtenaw County Marissa Cowan and WDIV sports director Bernie Smilovitz.

The Michigan athletic department announced its partnership with the Special Olympics last month and shortly after decided the Big House, Big Heart race would no longer end in Michigan Stadium. According to associate athletic director David Ablauf the decision to end the partnership with the Champions for Charity run was at least in part due to making the charitable relationship with Special Olympics a top priority.

Kyle Austin covers sports for



Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

I think you're onto something Gerard. Brandon created a tremendous amount of ill-will when he canceled BHBH. I'm sure people from the dozens of charities he shafted would line up in droves to dunk him.

Gerard Jendras

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:23 p.m.

I there will be a Dave Brandon dunk take, I'm all for it.

Kai Petainen

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:47 p.m.

coming from northern ontario... this looks rather wimpy. you gotta jump in a lake (safely), not in a pool.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 11:59 a.m.

Special Olympics is a great organization and the Polar Plunge is one of the main fundraisers. For anyone that has not been to a polar plunge it is a lot of fun and the bottom line is that money that is raised is for the mentally challenged athletes, they deserve the support. I am thrilled that the University of Michigan cares enough to want to help these athletes, and I hope this relationship with the university goes for a very long time. This collaboration with U of M should be embraced and anyone that has not been to a Special Olympic event that doesn't know what these athletes go through on a daily basis doesn't know what they are talking about. As a parent of a special needs child they deserve the recognition and support and I am glad for U of M's support.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

Of course you are glad for U of M's support. My local charity wishes it (still) had U of M's support. BHBH was a loss.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

I would encourage people to donate money directly to Special Olympics and avoid a pointless jump into a freezing pool in the middle of winter, risking heart problems, hypothermia and who knows what other health risks. Why not stage an actual, athletic contest...perhaps an obstacle course or something?


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 4:50 a.m.

Surely there are better ways to raise money for charity than staging a such a silly, possibly dangerous event that has absolutely no athletic value or even a purpose that makes sense. I hope people stay away from participating, thus encouraging organizers to come up with better ideas.

Honest Abe

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:07 a.m.

Polar plunging can be dangerous. My wife, who is an M.D., shook her head when she read this article. Even if you think you're fit, it can still be harmful. It drastically raises your blood pressure and heart rate can jump too high. Unless the pool is 'technically' outside but has temperature controlled water, although I notice the article says they will be "jumping into the cold pool" or they're polar plunging in a special suit, I'm sort of surprised this is being allowed.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 4:15 a.m.

Don't worry the waiver with this one is strong. LOL ;-)


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:18 a.m.

In the picture it looks like they have ice in the water. So it would be literally ice cold. I have jumped into a pool like this as part of a Tough Mudder run, and it wasn't too bad. But that was in the middle of a long obstacle run. Not sure how it feels jumping in 'cold'.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 3:06 a.m.

This looks dumb. Oh wait, Bernie Smilovitz will be there! It just got dumber.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 2:49 a.m.

BHBH was at least some sort of athletic event, befitting an athletic facility. But this is just nonsense.


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:52 a.m.

This looks decidedly un-fun and unappealing. For this, they canceled BHBH?


Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 12:34 a.m.

CFC website still down. LOL This event is being organized by Special Olympics I don't forsee any cancelation of this event.

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 11:03 p.m.

I hope they don't cancel it at the last minute because it doesn't meet some undefined financial goal, where it is implied that the organizers are actually skimming, but without being specific.


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 10:47 p.m.

Sorry, still mad about BHBH...


Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 10:32 p.m.

So this is the new, higher level of stadium activity we should expect in light of the recent runners event cancellation? Better than hockey thugs also i suppose.