Through sport, creating a world where opportunity is not limited by disability.

How Plunge Started

In the mid-1990s, Special Olympics Maryland approached Maryland State Police with a crazy idea: to bring the state together for a “Polar Plunge.” Then Superintendent Colonel David Mitchell became a founder of the event, beginning a now decades-long partnership between Special Olympics Maryland and law enforcement that just keeps on giving. Together, Special Olympics Maryland and the Maryland State Police organized the 1st-annual MSP Polar Plunge in 1997, which brought out 350 individuals to Sandy Point State Park and raised $40,000 to support Special Olympics Maryland athletes.

The Plunge gets super!

The annual Polar Bear Plunge wasn’t quite enough for some of our more dedicated participants. In 2004, Maryland State Police’s Greg Shipley, Special Olympics athlete Jimmy Myrick, and Special Olympics Maryland Staff decided that they could do more to raise funds and awareness. Their brave idea: plunging once every hour on plunge day. That’s 24 plunges in one day! Their idea became the Super Plunge. Today, Super Plungers raise $10,000 each and plunge 24 times in one day, inspiring others with their dedication.

24th Annual Polar Bear Plunge

The MSP Polar Plunge has grown to fill a whole week with fundraising events and smaller plunges all leading to the big splash. Between the Super Plunge, the Cool Schools Challenge, the Corporate Challenge, and the Police Plunge, our participants show up year after year ready to jump in with a smile on their faces. The Plunge has become a Maryland tradition, attracting more than 10,000 people each year.