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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Organizers are gearing up for Saturday’s Polar Plunge. The annual event raises money for the Special Olympics.

But this year, they’ve had to make a modification because of the weather.

This year’s Polar Plunge will be held at Heinz Field. Instead of jumping into the river, participants will jump into pools filled with icy water.

All the rain we’ve had lately has made the river currents swift. The water is muddy, and filled with debris.

“Unfortunately, the conditions weren’t compatible for us for safety reasons,” says Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert. “So we just wanted to do what’s right and what’s safe for the people.”

Some local high school students and parents got a chance to test out the pools on Friday. Many said it was freezing, but well worth it.

“It was so cold, I didn’t think it was going to be as ice cold as it was, but it’s freezing!” said Brenda Slie, whose daughter participates in the Special Olympics. “My daughter participates in a lot of Special Olympics, and I would do anything to support her and her group of friends.”

Despite the change in location, this year’s Polar Plunge will be the largest on record. More than 1,200 people have signed up to participate.

“For law enforcement, we love the partnership we have with the Special Olympics with the athletes,” says Chief Schubert. “We’re inspired by their courage, their hope, their passion and their love.”

If you haven’t signed up for Saturday’s Polar Plunge, but would like to participate, you can sign up the morning of the event.

A minimum $50 donation to the Special Olympics is requested.

For more details on this year’s Polar Plunge, click here:
http://specialolympicspa.org/about-pittsburgh-plunge

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