COVID-19 Safety Measures – Your Safety is our Top Priority

Have questions before committing? Then here's your page.

Where can I find information on COVID-19 safety measures?

Please visit our COVID-19 Safety Measures page.

Why is the Polar Plunge different this year?

Like organizations the world over, we have had to rethink our events this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. As much as we hate to go a year without Wisconsin’s premier winter experience, the safety of our communities is our number one priority.

After many months of deliberation between staff and members of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Wisconsin, we determined that we couldn’t confidently offer the traditional plunging experience in ways that would ensure the safety of our participants to a degree we felt comfortable.

Although things will look a little different this year, we ARE confident you’ll have a blast with our safe and social distancing-friendly adventure options in 2021!

How does it work this year?

This year’s Polar Plunge will have four fun and safe ways to participate!


The Great Outdoors: You’ll be able to choose from nine locations around the state that will offer a unique sledding, tubing and/or snowshoeing experience for the adventurous Winter Warriors.


Chillin’ at Home: If The Great Outdoors isn’t for you this year, make your own adventure by Chillin’ at Home. The rules are simple. Stay home, get cold, be safe and don’t forget to snap a selfie or record a vid! You can take this DIY Virtual Plunge whenever and however you like! Creativity is key. You’ll also receive your very own Chillin’ at Home Cozy kit and be eligible for all other incentives.


Cool Schools: Students can virtually hang out with friends via the Cool Schools option by forming teams, holding competitions and having fun in the spirit of inclusion.


Support an Adventurer: Allows fans to support Polar Plunge participants while making a difference in the lives of children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Who does the Polar Plunge benefit?

The Polar Plunge benefits more than 9,000 Special Olympics Wisconsin athletes across the state, who compete and train year-round in 19 different sports. For many of our athletes, Special Olympics Wisconsin is their main way to stay connected, active and engaged.

While the pandemic has been hard on all of us, it has hit our athletes especially hard. We have worked hard to adapt and reduce social isolation by offering a variety of safe alternatives to help keep the athletes connected and healthy, but we all know that it’s just not quite the same.

That’s why your support through the Polar Plunge is so important this year. Special Olympics Wisconsin needs to be able to hit the ground running when things get back to normal.

How much of my donation goes to Special Olympics Wisconsin?

100%! We thank you for your support of the athletes that we serve!

What items should I bring to do the Great Outdoors sledding option?

  • A facemask (required for participation)
  • Snow gear and snow boots
  • A duffel bag, backpack, garbage bag, etc. It’s a good idea to bring a bag for additional warm clothes and your Plunge incentive.
  • Another Plunger. Recruit a friend, family member, co-worker or acquaintance and get them to take the Plunge with you. It’s always more fun with friends (socially distanced, of course)!

What are the emergency weather plans for the Plunge?

The Great Outdoors experiences will happen rain, sleet, snow or shine!

I’m having a difficult time registering online–who can I speak with for help?

Your local plunge guru will be your first resource for all things event-specific, including making sure you and your team are registered correctly.

How much does it cost to participate?

Every participant raises a minimum of $75 in order to plunge on event day, which also gets you a long-sleeve event T-shirt, but the more you raise, the better your prizes! Check out our fundraising tips to help you raise your minimums and even go beyond!

What is your refund policy?

Charitable contributions are non-refundable, and the minimum Plunge fundraising requirement is considered a charitable contribution and is therefore also non-refundable.

Can I participate at more than one event?

Definitely! You need to register yourself for each event in The Great Outdoors and/or Chillin’ at Home. All your events will appear on your public Plunge page, and supporters will be able to choose which event they’d like to donate to.

I have a group of people that want to do this together. Can we form a team?

Yes! Forming a team is a great way to motivate one another to raise more money for Special Olympics Wisconsin. When registering, select the “Create a Team” option.

Will my team be able to sled/tube/snowshoe together?

Members of a team will be able to participate together as long as they are members of the same household. Team members from different households will need to participate separately to adhere to social distancing requirements.

How can I become more involved in Special Olympics Wisconsin?

We’re always looking for event volunteers, coaches, and committee members to help our organization continue to grow. And we’re more than just sports competitions. We offer leadership forums, health initiatives and school programming in addition to sports training and tournaments! Contact your regional Special Olympics Wisconsin office for more details!

What happens if the event is canceled?

We reserve the right to delay, shorten, or in rare circumstances, cancel an event due to inclement weather. An event may also be canceled due to state and/or local COVID safety orders. Safety of participants and spectators is always extremely important to us. No refunds will be offered if the event is cancelled or if you cannot attend. If an event were to be cancelled, we would still offer an incentive pick-up option to participants. We’ll make all possible attempts – by email, website and social media – to inform participants if changes are made to an event.

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