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Special Olympics Polar Plunge fundraiser returns to frigid Deschutes on Feb. 5

(Update: Adding video, comments from participant)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Oregonians have a longstanding and beloved winter tradition of Plunging into the frigid waters of the Deschutes each winter to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics Oregon athletes.

Donning their wildest costumes and swimming attire, more than 3,200 brave (some might say crazy) supporters will gather across the state this winter to take the Polar Plunge.

The event takes place in seven locations throughout the state (Portland, Salem, Corvallis, Eugene, Bend, Medford, and Warrenton) with our longest standing, Central Oregon Polar Plunge, taking place at Riverbend Park in Bend on Saturday, Feb 5.

After a year of virtual Plunging to support athletes, SOOR is more excited than ever to relaunch this signature fundraising event with the addition of two new cities and expanded 5K|10K fun runs across the state.

With water temperatures registering below 40 degrees, this rambunctious annual event continues to make a splash as one of the most chilling and thrilling fundraisers in Oregon. Dozens of local teams made up of students, law enforcement, gyms, corporate partners, and general thrill seekers will sprint into the chilly river waters to show support to their local athletes. The Polar Plunge has been taking place in Bend since 2006, making this the 17th year of Plunging in Oregon for SOOR athletes.   

Participants will raise money in support of those living with intellectual disabilities – the largest disability population in the state. Each person participating in the Polar Plunge or Polar Fun Run commits to fundraising on behalf of SOOR, with a statewide goal of raising $590,000. Anyone wishing to take part in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Oregon can register and get the full details at www.PlungeOregon.org.

The Central Oregon Polar Plunge is made possible by the generous support of statewide and local sponsors: Law Enforcement Torch Run of Oregon, Clackamas Federal Credit Union, Lithia Auto Stores, Mattress World Northwest, Jiffy Lube, iHeart Media, and Audacy Radio.

About Special Olympics Oregon

Special Olympics Oregon serves more than 14,000 participants with intellectual disabilities year-round and statewide through the organization's life changing sports programs. Athletes gain self-confidence, social competency, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community. Learn more at www.soor.org.

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