The Washington Post

Woman who needs oxygen tank to breathe jumps into frigid ocean for fun

Apparently there was a Penguin Swim in New York, too: A man dressed as a penguin enters the water near Coney Island. ( REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

It concerns an event yesterday in which more than 600 people jumped into the frigid water by Ocean City for the annual Penguin Swim, an event covered by a very lucky reporter for

I will never understand why people enjoy swimming in the ocean during winter — or summer, but that’s a separate, more complicated issue I have with vacations — and I’m definitely not sure I understand why 67-year-old Kathy Carrier decided an ocean swim, in January, was a good idea, given that she uses an oxygen tank to breathe at night.

But I get that this was for charity. And I certainly understand the nature of bets. They are hard to walk away from. Carrier could not.

“One of Kathy Carrier’s friends bet her that she couldn’t withstand jumping into the frigid, January waters of the Atlantic Ocean,” the DelmarvaNow report said.

Carrier’s reply: “The hell I can’t!”

So that’s my favorite quote of 2013. And my favorite detail of this story — and of 2013 — is that Carrier tiptoed into the water wearing a jacket.

Michael Rosenwald is a reporter on the Post's local enterprise team. He writes about the intersection of technology, business and culture.
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