Polar Bear Swim to go digital for second year in a row
The Polar Bear Swim event will once again go digital in light of the most recent public health order External link icon.
On January 1, at 2:30pm, participants are encouraged to take a dip in a bathtub or kiddie pool and, if brave enough, adjust the temperature to 7°C, the average ocean water temperature of previous Polar Bear Swims.
Registration and event details
Registration External link icon is now open, and registered participants will receive a commemorative certificate after the event.
Anyone who emails a photo or video to firstname.lastname@example.org showing their participation will also receive a commemorative button.
2022 Polar Bear Swim merchandise External link icon, such as hoodies, toques, and t-shirts is available for purchase online.
History of the swim
The Polar Bear Swim is one of the largest and oldest in the world. In 1920, Peter Pantages and nine other brave swimmers started their New Year in style by plunging into the chilly waters of English Bay. The group became known as the Vancouver Polar Bear Club.
Since then, the swim has grown into a much loved highlight of the holiday season. On January 1, 2020, it celebrated its centennial with more than 40,000 spectators and 7,029 registered swimmers.
Peter’s granddaughter, Lisa Pantages, will also be joining for her 60th swim (and her second dip from home).
“Polar Bears are an adaptable bunch, and once again we can keep our traditions going by bringing all the fun, creativity, and energy to a swim closer to home,” said Lisa. “I look forward to washing off 2021 and diving into 2022 knowing that it is full of potential.”
Commissioner Stuart Mackinnon
“While we are deeply disappointed that this great tradition will not be happening in person again this year, we know this is the right decision to make for the health and safety of swimmers and spectators,” said Vancouver Park Board Commissioner Stuart Mackinnon. “We thank staff for working swiftly to make the necessary adjustments so the event can still go ahead in a safer format.”