Lanier Canoe & Kayak Club’s Polar Bear Swim

2014 Lanier Canoe & Kayak Polar Bear Swimmers (L-R) Madison Savage, Katie Brown, Gay Anne Agnew & Emily McCoun ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

2014 Lanier Canoe & Kayak Polar Bear Swimmers (L-R) Madison Savage, Katie Brown, Gay Anne Agnew & Emily McCoun ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Back when mothers tried to talk sense into their kids — hoping to talk them out of doing something crazy — they’d say, “If a hundred people jumped into a lake in the middle of winter — would YOU???”

Kids who replied “Yes!” gathered on the docks of the Lanier Canoe & Kayak Club (LCKC) at the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue on New Year’s Day to jump in the lake to say, “You’re not the boss of me!” once more.

The 17th Annual Polar Bear Swim and Chili Cook-Off made a big splash this year.

Chris Potter (L) and John Sniatecki helped manage the 2014 Lanier Canoe & Kayak Polar Bear Swim & Chili Cookoff ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Chris Potter (L) and John Sniatecki helped manage the 2014 Lanier Canoe & Kayak Polar Bear Swim & Chili Cookoff ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Families, groups and assorted types of people who jump into frigid waters enjoyed the chance to trade $25 for the warm memory (and bright yellow T-shirt) that will remind them of their Polar Bear Swim.

LCKC Director Chris Potter was pleased with the turnout and the opportunity to purchase new boats with a portion of the proceeds.

Click Here for the Lanier Canoe & Kayak Club

2014 Lanier Canoe & Kayak Polar Bear Swim ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

George Wangemann broke the ice at the 2014 Lanier Canoe & Kayak Polar Bear Swim ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

George Wangemann, a member of Gainesville’s city council, is normally the first person to jump in the lake each year to begin the event.  (Although “normally” might not be the best choice of words.)

George led the way in 2014 too.  At least he’s consistent.

To say the Polar Bear Swim is the coolest event on Lake Lanier is an understatement.

Plan now to attend next year’s celebration.  In the meantime, don’t tell your mother.

Don’t be surprised, however, if you meet her there.

Only a few of those who took the plunge at the 2014 Lanier Canoe & Kayak Polar Bear Swim ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Only a few of those who took the plunge at the 2014 Lanier Canoe & Kayak Polar Bear Swim ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Click Here for More Polar Bear Swim Photographs

We present to you … the WINNERS of the first-ever Lake Lanier Coolest Jumpers Contest!

Madison Savage, Katie Brown, Gay Anne Agnew and Emily McCoun (L-R), you are the poster children and inspiration for all those who think diving into a cold lake in winter is hot fun!