Members of the Greater Victoria Law Enforcement Torch Run committee wore their uniforms into Willows on Feb. 11 to kickstart the 2021 virtual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics B.C. (Sheri Lucas Photo)

Members of the Greater Victoria Law Enforcement Torch Run committee wore their uniforms into Willows on Feb. 11 to kickstart the 2021 virtual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics B.C. (Sheri Lucas Photo)

Polar Plunge goes virtual for 2021

Oak Bay Police challenge public to plunge

The fourth annual Polar Plunge is going virtual this year.

The fundraiser for Special Olympics B.C. first came to Victoria in 2018 and brought hundreds to Willows Beach on Feb. 17, 2020. Then came the pandemic, the ongoing ban on social gatherings and isolation.

Now it’s time to break the ice-olation, said Oak Bay Police Sgt. Sheri Lucas, member of the local Law Enforcement Torch Relay team, and coordinator of the event.

The invitation is for anyone to record themselves or others participating in the chilly challenge and then share the videos and photos on social media to qualify for contests and prizes. And also to build awareness and donate.

READ ALSO: Third annual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics

“Be creative. Do a snow angel. Jump in the ocean. Eat ice cream until you get brain freeze. Just be creative and show your support for the Special Olympics B.C.,” said Lucas, who entered the cold waters of Willows as Batwoman last year.

The 2020 event raised over $40,000 and the goal is to raise $100,000 this year.

Because it’s virtual, Lucas is hoping it’s even more inclusive.

“Anyone can do it. [Geographically] we’ve been limited to places that hold a plunge but because this is virtual, if you’re in Port Renfrew or Zeballos, you can take part. It opens it up to more people being able to participate,” she said.

Lucas, with Oak Bay Police’s “Team Quaranteam” of Deputy Chief Mark Fisher and Const. Julie Chanin, joined other law enforcement members for their virtual dip at Willows Beach on Feb. 11.

There was nothing virtual about it. That Thursday just happened to be the coldest day of the winter so far, – 2 C, with a cruel wind making the experience even colder.

“It was the coldest water I’ve experienced so far, even colder than when I [plunged] in Austria,” Lucas said, referring to when she participated in a leg of the global Special Olympics torch relay in Austria, and a dip in the unheated, outdoor hotel pool.

READ MORE: Pandemic raises stakes for B.C. residents with intellectual disabilities

The province-wide Polar Plunge for Special Olympics contest and fundraiser opens Feb. 20 and runs until March 7. Register anytime to fundraise to be a “Plunger” and raise money to support Special Olympics B.C. at

Special Olympics B.C. is dedicated to the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities through sport with chapters in 55 communities around the province. More than 5,200 athletes compete in 18 different sports, thanks to the dedicated efforts of more than 4,300 volunteers.

Do you have a story tip? Email:

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Oak Bay Police DepartmentSpecial Olympics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

On Feb. 27, a construction vehicle remained on the site of the former encampment between the Pat Bay Highway and McKenzie Avenue as part a clean-up effort. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Encampment between Pat Bay Highway, McKenzie Avenue cleared, all residents relocated

Efforts to disband encampment resumed after January fire

Low interest rates have acted as a catalyst for the pandemic real estate market. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
Real estate sales surging across Greater Victoria but risks lie ahead

Single family home prices jump nine per cent over past year while condo values remain stable

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 from Vancouver to Victoria Feb. 28 were exposed to a case of COVID-19. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
COVID-19 exposure found on flight from Vancouver to Victoria

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 Feb. 28 affected

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 26 that the estate of deceased Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner is to be divided between his wife and his secret spouse. (Black Press Media file photo)
Estate of deceased Hells Angels prospect from Sooke to be divided between wife and secret spouse

Michael Widner’s 2017 death left a number of unanswered questions

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Shiromali Krishnaraj arrives from India and receives a mandatory COVID-19 test at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. B.C.’s approved rapid tests also use a nasal swab, with a machine to scan for COVID-19 antibodies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s rapid COVID-19 tests have produced only two positive results

Tests deployed for exposures in schools, outbreaks in care homes, jails

BC Emergency Health Services confirmed that a call was received just before 10 a.m. Ground paramedics, as well as an air ambulance, are on the way to the area. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BREAKING: Helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

The Nanaimo bar display at the Nanaimo Museum. (City of Nanaimo Instagram)
City of Nanaimo points to correct recipe after New York Times botches batch of bars

City addresses ‘controversy’ around dessert square’s layers

A man holds a picture of Chantel Moore during a healing gathering at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria on June 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. First Nation demands transparency in probe into second fatal RCMP shooting

‘Police have killed more Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation members than COVID’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Comox Valley-raised Shay Sandiford has earned a spot on the Canada skateboard team. Facebook
Vancouver Islander selected to Canada’s first-ever national skateboard team

Courtenay’s Shay Sandiford has his eye on qualifying for this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo

Most Read