Montrealers take on Verdun Polar Bear Plunge challenge for Special Olympics
Annual Polar Bear Plunge is a fundraiser for Special Olympics
On one of the coldest days of winter, some Montrealers decided to go for a swim.
More than 200 people took a dip in freezing water for the annual Polar Bear Plunge in Verdun.
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The temperature at Saturday's event , -40 C with the windchill, was the coldest daytime high of this winter season according to Environment Canada.
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For Lt. Jean-François Rousselle, the temperature was the last thing he wanted to think about.
"That's pretty much my mindset — not thinking about the cold and jump in. That's it," Rousselle said.
Participants didn't let the cold weather keep them away for a good time, with many jumping into the pool in groups and matching costumes.
Think it's cold out today? Imagine doing this! Annual Polar Bear Challenge in Verdun <a href="https://t.co/6Hr0SA2APC">https://t.co/6Hr0SA2APC</a>—@jbernstien
For many, the challenge was simply worth the cause.
"[The] Special Olympics offers 17 different kind of sports across Quebec," said Marie-Josée Carroll, one of the event's co-ordinators.
"It's my fifth time. It's a such a great cause," said participant Anthony Dire.
Mr. Polar Bear
The event was particularly a breeze for one Montreal traffic officer whose friends call him "Mr. Polar Bear."
"When everybody just jump and get out, personally I stay there and I swim a little bit, so that's why they call me 'the polar bear,'" said Michel Descheneaux
At the finish line, the so-called polar bear was all smiles.
"It's not that bad."