Outside temperatures dipped below freezing Jan. 23 as more than 1,000 jumpers plunged into the icy waters of East Carolina University’s outdoor swimming pool for the 18th annual Polar Bear Plunge.
Among the most popular refreshments served at the event was the cake created by Kris Andrews and the ECU Campus Dining Services staff, pictured above. (Contributed photo)
ECU Women’s Basketball Coach Heather Macy and her assistant coaches joined WITN-TV Sports Director Billy Weaver for the ceremonial first jump, which was broadcast live on the evening news. View the WITN broadcast here.
Additional coverage of the event was captured by WNCT-TV, Pirate Radio 1250/930, The Daily Reflector and The East Carolinian. #ECUPolarBear was a trending hashtag on Twitter for a few hours as the event unfolded.
More than 80 ECU faculty, staff and student workers marched the jumpers in packs of 25 to the edge of the outdoor pool for the big jump. Many participants will graduate in May and bragged that they now have four T-shirts from jumping each year of their college careers at the annual event.
As jumpers came inside to warm up, they found more than 60 student organizations lined up for the Get-A-Clue student organization information fair, which helps students learn about ways to connect with other students on campus.
The Polar Bear Plunge started at ECU in 1997 as part of the grand opening of the Student Recreation Center and 35 participants took the plunge. The event has grown annually, breaking records each year since 2010.