[+] EnlargeAP/Zoological Society of San Diego/Tammy SprattIn addition to having its own day and cool annual events named after it, the polar bear also will be one of five mascots at the Sochi Olympics.
Today is International Polar Bear Day, reminding us of the chills and thrills that are the Polar Bear Plunge. Held around the country, the bold partake in one of the most intense sporting exploits -- dipping into frigid water to raise money for charity. The 17th annual Plungefest or Plungapalooza, which was held on Jan. 26 in Annapolis, Md., is the largest plunge the United States with approximately 12,000 participants. In 2013, the bold plungers raised more than $2 million for Special Olympics Maryland.