Local daredevils shared one of Minnesota’s wackiest winter traditions with Super Bowl fans on Tuesday.
With temperatures hovering in the low 20s, hundreds of people eagerly jumped into an outdoor pool on Nicollet Mall for the first-ever Super Bowl LIVE Polar Plunge.
The event raised about $200,000 for Special Olympics Minnesota.
Deputies from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s dive team were in the pool to help plungers scamper out of the water.
The first folks to take the leap were Special Olympians as fans cheered them on and danced to “Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot.” Other plungers were those who has fundraised for Special Olympics, earning the chance to take an icy soak in the name of the Super Bowl.
Employees at HelpSystems, a software company with offices in Eden Prairie, raised more than $8,500 for Special Olympics. About 30 employees dressed in leis and grass skirts took the plunge including their CEO Chris Heim, who gamely agreed to wear a coconut bra to help bolster fundraising.
Shelley Van Der Meide, chair of HelpSystems good neighbor committee, rallied support for the cause and recruited plungers. Van Der Meide said she’s polar plunged for charity before: “I just kept saying it’s invigorating.”