This Chicago bus driver jumped into Lake Michigan every day for an entire year

·1 min read
Dan O'Conor jumps into Lake Michigan.
Dan O'Conor jumps into Lake Michigan. AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar

Once he got into the habit of jumping into Lake Michigan every day, Dan O'Conor couldn't stop, even breaking through ice in the winter to keep his streak going.

O'Conor, a Chicago bus driver and father of three, told The Associated Press he began hopping into the lake as a way to relieve stress amid the pandemic. "It was somewhere where I could come down here and block all that noise out and kind of be totally present with me in the lake, and find some moments of Zen," he said.

On Saturday, O'Conor — now known as the "Great Lake Jumper" — dove into Lake Michigan for the 365th straight day, having braved the water through every season. Dozens of people were on hand to witness the milestone, with some even getting into the water with O'Conor. "I just wanted to celebrate just that drive to dive for 365," he said.

O'Conor gained fans by posting videos of his jumps online, with curious viewers asking if he was trying to bring awareness to a charity, and if so, how could they donate. This pushed him to keep going. "I got more wind in my sails there because people started commenting like, 'This makes my day, it's nice to see this,'" O'Conor said.

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