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Grin and bear it! Polar Bears take mid-storm dip

Taking the plunge: Snowstorm Niko’s frigid temperatures and blustery winds weren’t going to stop the Polar Bear Club from taking a quick swim.
Brooklyn Paper
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They stormed the beaches!

Hot-blooded swimmers braved the nearly freezing waters of Coney Island beach as Winter Storm Niko slammed the seashore. It was their sworn duty as members of the Polar Bears Club to embrace the flakes and take a dive, said one swimmer.

“Well polar bears are historically known for living in the cold, so it’s only right that we embrace the weather,” said Marine Parker Bill Bradley, who took a long lunch break from work to make it out. “This doesn’t count toward our weekly swims, but it definitely goes toward our personal cred.”

Ten swimmers trekked from across the borough to the People’s Playground, disrobed, and shot into the frigid waters some even clad in bikinis. It was a rejuvenating experience, even more so than usual, said one seasoned swimmer.

“I feel like I’m alive. I left all my problems over there in the water,” said Midwood resident Lina Oleynikova, who is originally from just outside of Moscow, Russia where she would regularly break the ice of frozen lakes to take dips. “I feel brand new, fresh, and happy.”

The polar bears took the plunge at noon during the thick of the storm, fearing if they waited any longer they might be breaking the law.

“Lets put it this way, it’s not illegal till it’s a blizzard,” said Coney Islander Eddie Mark, who is the district manager of Community Board 13. “So if we went later in the day it may have been a different story.”

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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