Participants of 2020 Polar Bear Plunge start New Year off with a splash

By Lauren Hunter Multimedia Journalist
Posted 5:20PM on Wednesday 1st January 2020 ( 7 months ago )

If participants of the 2020 Polar Bear Plunge were not awake when they arrived at Lake Lanier Olympic Park, they certainly were as soon as they hit the water!

This year marked the 22nd edition of the event, hosted by Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club. Individuals, couples and families of all ages came out for a chance to jump in the water. According to event coordinator Jim O'Dell, attendance this year was nearly double from the previous year.

The temperature in Gainesville was about 50 degrees when the event kicked off, but the water was still cold enough to make an impact on those brave enough to jump in.

"It was really, really cold," said participant Tom Reilly. "And we sank a good bit so it got colder."

Besides the cold water temperatures it was a beautiful day for the event. The lake water was clear and steady. A couple of participants, such as Justin Doll, enjoyed it so much they decided to go for a second dive!

"There was no line so I figured I might as well hop back in!" said Doll.

The 2020 Polar Bear Plunge also featured a little bit of competition for awards such as Best Jump, Best Splash and even Best Eyeglasses for 2020 as a nod to 20/20 vision.

Following their plunge participants were invited to warm up inside the Boathouse with hot chocolate and snacks. The Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club also has plenty of other acitivies lined up to add to your 2020 intinerary, which can be found on their website.

Participants in the 2020 Polar Bear Plunge wait for the event to begin.

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