The “Polar Bear Swim” is back in British Columbia

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The “Polar Bear Swim” is back in British Columbia

Hundreds of swimmers were preparing to dive into the cold water for the “Polar Bear Swim” in 2018.

For the first time in three years, “Polar Bear swim” (Polar Bear swim), a cold water swimming session, will return to Vancouver January 1, 2023.

For a 103rd year, people are once again invited to take to the cold waters of English Bay. The event, organized by the Parks Commission, will begin at noon and end at 4 p.m. Swimming will take place at 2:30 p.m.

The tradition was born in 1920 when Peter Pantages and 9 other swimmers took to the cold waters of English Bay. (Archives)

Participants will have access to indoor changing areas, washrooms, changing rooms, lockers and heated tents. The Parks Commission recommends that they come already dressed in their bathing suits.

  • People with heart problems should just watch, rather than participate.
  • Children should be accompanied by adults.
  • Pets are prohibited.
  • It is recommended not to drink alcohol, as it increases the risk of hypothermia.
  • Do not stay in cold water for more than 15 minutes.
  • It only take off your clothes when going in the water.

According to Tony Syskakis of the Parks Commission, there will also be a DJs and food trucks. It's always amazing to see so many people come together and start the year off with an exciting challenge, he adds.

Polar Bear Swim, a francophone group from British Columbia, encourages all francophones to take part in the event.

According to Carine Bocabeille-McEwen, who is part of this group, in 2020, more than 200 French speakers took part. Croissants were offered to swimmers and banners were displayed in both official languages ​​to wish everyone a Happy New Year.

This year, the group wishes to put some before the Réseau-Femmes Colombie-Britannique organization.

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