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Daredevils Brave the Cold for Annual Polar Bear Plunge

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MEDICINE PARK, Okla_Hundreds of costumed daredevils turned out in Medicine Park on Saturday to get a little thrill with some chills.

Each year a brave crowd heads to Medicine Park for the annual Park Tavern Polar Bear Plunge.

There's not much to it, just show up and jump in and do your best not to freeze to death, but it's easier said than done with a water temperature of fifty degrees.

The 60 degree weather was a far cry from what a real polar bear is used to, and luckily  unseasonably warm for those pretending to be polar bears for the plunge. Just ask experienced plunger, John Alexander.

"Last year I was just in the swimming shorts and boots walking down the street as the snow's blowing and cold weather. So this year, yes, was a lot better, " said Alexander.

Alexander learned his lesson and wore a robe and fuzzy slippers to this year's jump.

And then there were first time jumpers like Niki Combee who said she came out to see what all the fuss is about.

"It's on my bucket list, I've always wanted to do it so I figured since it's such a nice day, might as well do it now, " Combee said.

The experienced plungers, like John Alexander, were full advice for the many first timers in attendance.

 

"There are two ways to get in. There's a little rock ledge that you can step down and walk out in the water then jump. Don't do that. Just get on the ledge and jump. If you have time to feel the water, you're probably gonna back out, " said Alexander.

So they marched on like brave little soldiers to their icy mission. Among the ranks were tu-tu clad crusaders and Santa even ventured down for a dip from the North Pole.

Then anticipation built and the giggles turned to squeals when it finally came time to take the big plunge!

Niki Combee lived to tell about her first time in the icy waters.

"It was like you just threw yourself into an ice bath. But as soon as you got out you were kind of warm. But as long as you were in there you were freezing, " Combee said.

In spite of the shivering and wet clothes, everyone had a smile on their face including Utahana Alexander, dubbed by her friends "Queen of the Polar Bear Plunge" due to her costume inspired by the fuzzy mammal.

"It was great, but it was cold, but it was just a community thing and it was just a lot of fun, " said Utahana Alexander.

The jump was a free event open to anyone who wanted to join, and of course if you missed out this year you can always try next February.

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