Press Release and Summary of 1st Annual Event
Saturday, January 19, 2002
They didn't have to cut a hole in the ice to go swimming but Polar Bear picnickers endured sub-freezing air temperatures and beach sand frozen rock-hard, for Lake Powell's inaugural Polar Bear Plunge event. Polar Bear Princess Clay Ann Cook placed colorful Hawaiian leis around the neck of each Polar Bear swimmer and with tropical music playing in the background, six charter members took a therapeutic plunge into the chilly waters of Lake Powell at noon today.
Cold water ice swimming also known by the Finnish word "Avantouniti" may sound like masochism taken to ridiculous lengths, but it is becoming increasingly popular as a fitness event for the reason that it stimulates the circulatory system. Page Polar Bear Club Director, Paul Ostapuk, notes that Polar Bear Clubs have sprung up across the country and we believe that today's event is the first officially organized Polar Bear event in Arizona.
"Cold water benefits can be very great, it can stimulate the production of hormones associated with an increased level of mental awareness and a feeling of well-being. In addition, it can release physical stresses, remove aches and pains, increase vitality, and help keep your skin looking younger."
Ostapuk hopes to make the Lake Powell Polar Bear Plunge an annual event and a new sports spectacle for Page. "The plan is to stage this event the third week in January, the week before the Super Bowl.
This year, several Polar Bear participants stayed in the water long enough to play a mock Super Bowl game of touch football. The American conference won on a long touchdown pass into deep water and subsequent swim to the goal line.
Ostapuk noted that the air temperature for this year's noon event was 30 degrees with a water temperature of 49 degrees. Kristie Lavaty was on hand as volunteer EMT for the event.
January 19, 2002 Photo Album
Ice-weenie roast Thinking About It
Get Ready.....Get Set......Go!!!
(Air temperaturate 30 degrees, water temperature 49 degrees)
Get me out of this cold water!!!! Mock Super Bowl Touch Football Event won by the American Conference
Page-Lake Powell Charter Polar Bear Members
Gary Ladd, Rob Peterson, Sara Peterson, Mykel Fatali, Frank Kokasko, Paul Ostapuk
Polar Bear Princess - Clay Ann Cook
Thank You Volunteers!
Scott Kyle, Photographer
Kristie Lavaty, EMT
Clay Ann Cook, Polar Bear Princess
We Hope To See You Next Year for the January 2003 Event!
Page-Lake Powell Polar Bear Home Page
Jan 19, 2002 Event Summary F.A.Q. - Cold Water Swimming
2003 Press Release Entry Forms and Waiver
Photo Gallery - Cold Water Swimming Images from around the World
Polar Bear Club and Cold Water Swimming Links