Coloradans brave bitter cold at Boulder Polar Plunge

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BOULDER, Colo. -- Since 1982, folks have been shedding their clothes and plunging into the frigid waters of the Boulder Reservoir on New Year’s Day.

This year, 226 people who would normally be bundled up shed their clothes to take the plunge, which benefits the American Cancer Society.

Jumping into the water on a sub-freezing day is normally dangerous, but there were firefighters in wetsuits and EMTs standing by to ensure each plunge was safe.

"It knocks the breath out of you," said Bill Corrigan, a plunger from Lakewood.

"It is definitely dangerous. When you get in there, you know, you’re going to get that shortness of breath, that shock. And you’re going to have that reflex where you are going 'ah ah ah," said Ian Hill of Boulder Fire Rescue. "It’s pretty quick. You’re going to start losing feeling in your extremities very fast, which makes it hard to pull yourself up. So yes, the faster you can get out, the better."

Those wishing to donate to the American Cancer Society can do so online.

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