RADFORD, Va. – The 2022 Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics is set for Saturday, and while this year’s event will be in-person, it will still look different than previous plunges.
River levels of the New River are too high for participants to safely navigate the water. Instead, plungers will take an icy dip in a pool set up near the Radford City office.
“The energy is going to be incredible on Saturday,” said David Horton, mayor of the city of Radford. “I’m most looking forward to seeing all the crazy costumes that’ll be out there. We’re going to have great music. There’s going to be some food down here. Just the spirit of fun and festivity.”
It takes the support of individual plungers, fundraising teams and the community to make the Polar Plunge a success year-after-year.
Participants like Frank Fitzgerald know a thing or two about polar plunging because he has been doing it for more than a decade.
“We were in the first Polar Plunge and have done it ever since,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald is a member of the Chillbillies fundraising team which has been involved with the Plunge for the past 13 years. Organizers say it is that type of community support that is key to the event’s success.
“It’s something to give back to the community and the Special Olympics’ athletes,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s a great gesture on everybody’s behalf to donate to Special Olympics.”
Horton is also a member of the Chillbillies. He said Special Olympics’ mission to provide year-round sports, fitness and leadership opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities makes it easy to want to plunge.
“We always look at sports as a way to make life better, to enjoy, to watch things, and for the athletes in the Special Olympics, that couldn’t be more true. Absolutely it’s life transforming,” Horton said.
The 2022 Polar Plunge will be located near the Radford City office at 20 Robertson Street.
Click here to sign up or donate to the Plunge.