Brave Edmontonians take the polar plunge for Special Olympics

An EPS member takes part in the polar plunge at Lake Summerside Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015. Morris Gamblin, Global News

A chilly tradition to help Special Olympic athletes continued in Edmonton on Sunday.

About 180 brave souls jumped into Lake Summerside as part of the seventh annual Polar Plunge and raised over $70,000 for Special Olympics.

“They need the help with financial support so they can compete in sport and showcase their abilities,” Edmonton Police Service Const. Amanda Trenchard said.

“They face many challenges throughout their sporting [career] but they overcome them to do sport, and we think this is one little challenge that we can do to help the athletes and show our support and create awareness for them.”

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The plungers included Olympic gold medalist Jamie Salé as well as members of the EPS and RCMP. Law enforcement members jumped in their uniforms, while some of the other plungers to the chose to dive in creative costumes.

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“It’s kind of become a tradition for anyone in law enforcement to jump in uniform. It started off in the first couple years and we went with it,” Trenchard said.

“The costume thing, people come out with group names, team names. They get together and just kind of create that team name and a little bit of fun with what they’re doing.”

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Each person who participates in the event must raise a minimum of $75

Red Deer, Calgary, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat are also hosting the Polar Plunge.

Last year, the event raised $167,000 across the province.

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