Chill Out with the Polar Bear Swim
Dec 23rd, 2011
While some of us count a leisurely brunch
or sleeping in late on New Year’s Day among our favourite holiday activities, some people love taking part in the annual Polar Bear Swim in Vancouver.
The Polar Bear Swim happens every New Year’s Day at English Bay
, when up to 2,000 swimmers stand at the shoreline in bathing suits. At 2:30 pm everyone runs into the cold ocean water for a few moments before rushing back to towels and warm clothes. There is always a large crowd that gathers to watch and cheer on the chilly swimmers.
This year marks the 92nd anniversary of the Polar Bear Swim, and over 2,246 participants are already registered.
The Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club has been around since 1920. The club was founded by Peter Pantages, who led a group of about ten swimmers into the water. Today, the Peter Pantages Memorial 100 yard swim race is one of the highlights of the event.
Are you brave enough to join in the Polar Bear Swim this year? You must register at the English Bay Bathhouse between 12:30 and 2:30 pm. Or, you can clip out the coupon in The Province and present it at the registration desk the day of the swim. Registration is free, and there are also prizes drawn from all registrations.
You should skip the Polar Bear Swim if you have heart problems or are pregnant. Make sure to bring plenty of warm clothing and blankets to warm up in after the race, along with a hot drink.