About the Plunge

The Polar Plunge is an annual event taking place throughout the state of Kansas to raise money for Special Olympics Kansas. Each year, brave individuals jump into the icy waters of Kansas pools or lakes to support Special Olympics athletes. These brave individuals (YOU!) prepare for the event by fundraising during the weeks leading up to your big plunge! Worried about the cold? Fear no longer! Lakeside locations will have heated tents for changing, and pool sites will have warm places plungers can change and dry off. 

You can register either as an individual or as part of a team. Have a group of friends who love to do crazy things for a great cause? Gather them together and start a team today! Teams can have as few as two people or as many as you can find!

We now have 11 cities in Kansas that participate in annual Polar Plunges: Emporia, Garden City, Hayesville, Hutchinson, Kansas City, Lawrence, Maize, Manhattan, Pittsburg, Salina and Topeka! Each location has its own fun events and perks in addition to the plunge including costume contests, vendors, and more. Head to the main navigation menu to check out each location’s page for details!

What is the polar strut?

Polar Struts will vary by your location, but the various options consist of a 5K run/walk, 1 mile fun run/walk or even a cross country run. Run for competitive time or enjoy a stroll in the cold. Either way you’ll be strutting your stuff for Special Olympics Kansas! The Polar Strut, like the Polar Plunge, requires a minimum donation to participate, and we encourage you to raise as much as you can for the cause. 

What’s this year’s theme?

Are you ready to go back in time? This year’s Polar Plunge will have you #FrozenInTime in your favorite decade! Participants are encouraged to get creative to put together their best outfits from the 00s, 90s, 80s, 70s, 60s, and beyond! Each location will have a costume competition to judge who brought their best outfit out, so don’t be afraid to go all out on this one!

Why do the Polar Plunge?

The annual Polar Plunge benefits Special Olympics Kansas – a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. Special Olympics Kansas provides these programs to individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) at no cost. Those with ID are under-served in communities nationwide and Special Olympics Kansas works to meet the needs of this population and create communities of inclusion in Kansas and around the world. The Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Kansas is the state’s largest fundraiser that aims to keep athletes with ID on the playing field all year round. Join us in making a difference for individuals with ID in your community today and throughout the year by signing up to

Support athletes like Tyler!

The Polar Plunge is brought to you by