Record breaking 6,500 swimmers attend 100th annual Polar Bear Swim in Vancouver

Jan 3 2020, 10:34 am

The 100th annual Polar Bear Swim took place in Vancouver on New Year’s Day, and this year, the thousands of swimmers who braved the cool waters set a new record.

According to the Vancouver Park Board, 45,000 people attended the swim, with 6,500 swimmers registered to swim in the “balmy 7°C waters of English bay.”

Vancouver’s event is one of the largest and oldest Polar Bear Clubs in the world, according to the city.

In the first swim in 1920, only 10 people participated, and peak entries were in 2014, when 2,550 people came for a dip, which was blown out of the water (literally) by this year’s record.

Take a look through our photo round-up to see thousands of Vancouverites donning their swim trunks or wacky accessories to ring in the start of the year and decade.

Polar Bear Swim

2020 Vancouver New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim (Steve McConnell)