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Water Skiers Ignore Winter, Brave Cold for Disabled Athletes

"I've gotten more brave people. I used to be the only one in the past"
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Dave Dietrich, dressed as Santa Claus, lifts a ski while skiing on the Mississippi River during the 28th annual New Years Day  Polar Bear Ski Event in St. Louis on January 1, 2014. The event promotes raising funds for Disabled Athletes. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Dave Dietrich, dressed as Santa Claus, lifts a ski while skiing on the Mississippi River during the 28th annual New Years Day Polar Bear Ski Event in St. Louis on January 1, 2014. The event promotes raising funds for Disabled Athletes. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Taking the plunge Wednesday into the Big Muddy’s 33 degree water were about a dozen water skiers, raising money for the disabled.

Every year the Missouri Disabled Water Ski Association puts on the Polar Bear Water Ski Event, and association President Kevin Day says it gets bigger every year.

“I’ve gotten more brave people. I used to be the only one in the past,” he said, adding, “Now I’ve got guys that have driven all the over  from Indiana to water ski. They’ve been coming in for four or five years and they just love it.”

He said the temps have been as tepid as minus-16 degrees and as balmy as 63.

In his 28 years of speeding around the Mississippi, Day says he’s raised more than $91,000.

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