Whitehorse Daily Star

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BELIEVE IT OR NOT I’M WALKING ON AIR – Neil Ryckman plunges into the icy cold waters dressed as The Greatest American Hero Saturday for the Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge in support of Special Olympics Yukon. Ryckman was the highest fundraiser, raising more than $3,000. Photo by SHANNON WYERS

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Photo by John Tonin

CANNONBALL! – Sophia Marnik lets out a yell while showing off her best cannonball form just before hitting the water.

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Photo by John Tonin

GASPING FOR BREATH – John Kennedy re-emerges from the bottom of the pool after making his Polar Plunge jump and slowly makes his way to the exit ladder. Kennedy was part of the Denim Demons team.

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Photo by John Tonin

SPLASHING ABOUT – Shannon Wyers lets out a yell as she hits the water before getting fully submerged in the frigid pool.

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Photo by John Tonin

Serge Michaud.

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Photo by John Tonin

More than 50 people take the plunge

More than 50 people took the plunge into the icy cold water to freeze for a reason at the Yukon Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge Saturday at the Yukon Convention Centre. The event was in support of Special Olympics Yukon.

By John Tonin on January 2, 2019

More than 50 people took the plunge into the icy cold water to freeze for a reason at the Yukon Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge Saturday at the Yukon Convention Centre. The event was in support of Special Olympics Yukon.

The temperatures may not have been as cold as the first annual Polar Plunge last year when it dipped past minus 30, still, the mercury in the thermometer had temperatures well below zero.

The plungers were dressed in their best costumes. Superman, Batman, Spider and Rocky Balboa were just a few of the many get-ups people donned while making the icy cold leap.

As the plungers made the walk up to the platform that overlooked the trailer filled with water, they smiled and waved to the surrounding crowd as their names were enthusiastically read out to many cheers.

The happy grins of the plungers were quickly switched to wide eyes and open mouths as they touched and then submerged under the chilly water. Once the plungers made their way through and out of the water they were quickly wrapped in towels. They also had the option to lounge in a hot tub.

The money the plungers raised was for Special Olympics Yukon. Neil Ryckman, dressed as The Greatest American Hero, raised the most funds, over $3,000 for Special Olympics Yukon.

“My daughter is in Special Olympics,” said Ryckman when asked why he decided to do the Polar Plunge. “So my wife said you should do it. My daughter does rhythmic gymnastics, she’s been in it a few years now. It is a great organization and any help we can give them we help out for sure.”

When Ryckman plunged he jumped over half of the trailer. He says it was all part of his plan.

“When I hit the water please don’t swear this is a family event and don’t have a heart attack,” said Ryckman about what he thought before jumping. “I was trying to get the look of The Greatest American Hero and to tell you the truth I was trying to stay in the water as little as possible because cold water is one of my biggest pet peeves.”

John Kennedy jumped as part of the Denim Demons team and said next year he probably won’t be jumping in denim.

“When you are in you are thinking about how your muscles are locking up, it’s cold and it’s heavy,” said Kennedy. “I was wearing all denim and it started to feel more like weights. Next year it will be thermal layers, flowing capes, pyjamas something that won’t be heavy when wet.”

Once all the participants had plunged, dried off and warmed up they met in the convention centre for awards and the announcement of how much was raised for Special Olympics Yukon.

The Yukon Law Enforcement Torch Run raised over $20,000 for Special Olympics Yukon. Last year’s plunge raised over $13,000.

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