Who is the Great Lake Jumper? Meet the Man Still Jumping Into Frigid Lake Michigan Water
by NBC-5 Chicago / January 30, 2023
Monday saw some of the coldest temperatures in Chicago so far this year-- but that didn't stop Dan O'Conor, known affectionately as "The Great Lake Jumper," from front-flipping into dangerously cold Lake Michigan water.
"It feels amazing," the Lincoln Square resident told NBC 5 while on the Montrose steps during the early morning hours. "The full body rush of the endorphins trying to protect your body once they get shocked in this cold water."
The air temperature was in the teens, wind chills were below zero and the water temperature was just above freezing.
It's a dangerous practice, but O'Conor has been performing his jumps since June 2020.
"Dan began jumping in the lake to curb the incessant negativity brought on by the pandemic, election year politics, and the rioting & looting," his website reads. "It was a simple way to clear his head and find a few minutes of zen."
He started documenting his jumps and eventually developed a following. Now, his daily jumps are intended not just for personal growth, but to raise awareness for the Chicago Independent Venue League, an advocacy group for independent performing arts venues in the city and a cause O'Conor is deeply passionate about. Read more HERE