Steve Birnbaum - DC United - closeup

Steve Birnbaum has earned major roles for D.C. United and the US national team by playing center back like he’s got ice water in his veins. But on Saturday afternoon, that term got a bit more literal for the cerebral defender.


Birnbaum was one of many who took a brisk winter dunk in a temporary swimming pool at National Park, home of baseball’s Washington Nationals, on Sunday to help raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics DC.


Dubbed “The Polar Plunge,” the event invited participants to take an icy dip, garnering donation pledges from friends, family and acquaintances in the process. The deeds were done amid a festive atmosphere with music, refreshments and many participants in costumes at the outdoor baseball venue.


Thankfully, United recorded video when it was Birnbaum’s turn to be “Freezin’ for a Reason,” and even treated us to the super-slo-mo treatment:

Birnbaum caught a break in one regard: D.C. saw milder-than-usual weather over the weekend, with temperatures in the 40s and 50s (Fahrenheit) rather than the freezing norm for mid-February.


He and his Black-and-Red teammates can look forward to much balmier conditions when they return to Florida later this week for their second preseason training camp, which includes participation in the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ Suncoast Invitational tournament.