Cold Water Challenge

Cold Water Challenge

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Updated Mar 04, 2019 at 03:31PM EST by Brad.

Added May 31, 2014 at 07:26PM EDT by AlbinoAce.

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The Cold Water Challenge is a dare game wherein an individual jumps into a large pool of cold water, such as a freezing lake, during winter time and post the recorded video footage online with a nomination for someone else to complete the challenge. First launched in March 2014 as a fundraising campaign modeled after the viral drinking game neknominate, the game also spawned its own summer-time counterpart known as The Ice Bucket Challenge in June that same year.


The cold water challenge began as a fundraising campaign in March of 2014, for Madi Rogers[2], a toddler from Grundy County, Tennessee suffering from severe juvenile diabetes. The campaign was started to raise the money for her service dog. The challenge asks the participant to jump into a cold lake or other body of water, donate to Madi Rogers' fundraiser campaign, and nominate someone else to do the same. One of the earliest examples uploaded to YouTube was uploaded by YouTuber Jessica Lagle[3] on March 8th, 2014, as of August 2014, it has gained over 50,000 views.


On May 12th, 2014, ABC news[4] reported the death of a teen in Minneapolis, Minnesota could be linked to the cold water challenge, and that other injuries had been linked to the challenge. Several other news sites reported on the related incidents including USA Today[5] and Fox News.[6]

On May 29th, 2014, The Fine Brothers [1] uploaded a video titled “YOUTUBERS REACT TO COLD WATERCHALLENGE.” As of August 2014, the video has gained over 5.6 million views.

Notable Examples

Ice Bucket Challenge

By June 2014, the Cold Water Challenge had evolved into the Ice Bucket Challenge when Jeremy McGrath[10], a competitive motocross racer, posted an Instagram[11] video of himself pouring ice water over his head and challenging fellow athletes Rickie Fowler and Jimmie Johnson, as well as rapper Vanilla Ice, to complete the challenge or pay $100 to a charity of their choices. As of August 2014, the video has gained over 2,000 likes.

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