The annual Lake Lag Skinny Dipping Free-for-All will not take place this year due to the spike in cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19, according to a recent announcement from the event’s organizers. A long-beloved tradition, the Free-for-All began in 1956 as a recruiting tactic for the varsity nude swimming team (since demoted to club status).
“Before the [COVID-19] pandemic, we’ve never had any issues running the Free-for-All,” Noah Teir ’22, captain of nude swimming, said. “There’s always the occasional drunk guy who starts running around in a bathing suit, but we’ve gotten better at handling inappropriate incidents like that over the years.”
In 2021, the event was moved online for the first time ever. In lieu of the traditional gathering, participants came together in droves over Zoom, reporting in from their bathtubs and occasionally private swimming pools or hot tubs.
“We were so encouraged to see the great turnout — over 150 participants at one point,” Teir said of the online gathering last year. “It’s a great sign for the team’s future.”
This year, the team’s senior members were eager to reintroduce the in-person Free-for-All, but their plans were foiled by the recent spike of cases of the highly transmissible omicron variant.
“Like you, we highly anticipated the return of the Skinny Dipping Free-for-All, and we’re saddened to make this change,” the team’s coaches and captains wrote in an email Friday. “Though the public health situation makes the event untenable for now, we look forward to joining you all in person next year.”