Polar bear plunge, swim at Great Salt Lake brings camaraderie, bragging rights

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 1 2014 5:27 p.m. MST

Seven went in, shrieking as they went. Four lasted the full minute.

Jett Atwood lives in San Francisco but was visiting family in Utah for the holidays. She had heard about the existence of the event and eventually found it on Facebook.

She and Julie Snieder, who she had just met, helped each other endure the water for the full minute.

"It's something you want to say you did," Atwood explained. "And I figure you start the new year with something crazy and awful, the rest of the year is going to be cake."

Masaki Takado, a native of Japan, attended Westminster College and is now working as a nurse. He couldn't get a work visa, though, and soon will be returning to Japan. His participation was something of a last hurrah.

"It's once in my life," he said. "I can tell people I did it."

By all accounts, Wednesday was a success.

"Everyone out here is just here to have fun," Tyler said. "I love it. It's what I do. It's something we all enjoy doing. It's a great rush."

Email: emorgan@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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