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Polar Bear Plunge today at Lanier Olympic Center
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Forsyth County News

GAINESVILLE — The 17th annual Polar Bear Plunge is set for noon today at the Lake Lanier Olympic Center on Clarks Bridge Road.

The event supports Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club’s Olympic legacy program, which helps train paddlers for a chance to compete in summer Olympics.

“Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club was started the second year after the Olympics,” said Chris Potter, event director. “It’s totally a club sport, so all of the funding is from donations and parent support, and these senior kids have the potential to get into the Olympics.”

The price for the event is $25 for a single jump or $50 for a family jump for up to four people.

Prizes will be awarded throughout the event for best costume, biggest splash, oldest and youngest jumpers and best group jump. T-shirts will also be handed out to the first 150 jumpers.

However, should the cold waters not be appealing, the event also features a free chili cook-off.

“The chili cook-off is something that we started last year,” Potter said. “We always did chili for the jumpers afterwards, but it was just in a big pot. So we had the idea to make it a contest.”

Jumpers can also warm up with a cup of hot chocolate and a dip in some warmer water as well.

“We do have hot tubs coming, so that makes it much more pleasant to get out and warm up,” Potter said.

Last year, the event saw about 100 people take the plunge, despite pouring rain. Potter noted he hopes for better weather this year.

“My goal is to have about 150 people jump this year,” Potter said. “And we have about 10 registered for the chili cook-off.”

Participants can register for a jump or the cook-off online at