Dual Grand Slam champion Ash Barty and popular Australian media personality Hamish Blake will be two of 10 sliders that will plunge into the Big Freeze ice bath as the footy community celebrates Neale Daniher’s incredible drive to defeat the MND “beast”.
Up to 80,000 fans are expected to pack into the MCG for the traditional Queen’s Birthday clash between Collingwood and Melbourne, with the Big Freeze slide the highlight of the pre-game Fight MND festivities.
It’ll be the first Big Freeze at the ‘G in front of an uncapped crowd since 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic meant the even didn’t take place in 2020, while celebrities and footy stars still plunged into the MCG ice bath last year in front of a limited crowd as the Magpies-Demons clash was held at the SCG due to a Melbourne lockdown.
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The Big Freeze slides start time will be just after 2pm (AEST) and wrap up around 3pm. Live coverage of each slider will be on Fox Footy from 2pm.
The 10 sliders are Ash Barty (Aussie tennis legend), Hamish Blake (comedian), Jakara Anthony (Winter Olympian), Terry Daniher (Essendon footy great), Justin Lange (Aussie cricket great), David Neitz (Melbourne footy great), Eddie Betts (Carlton and Adelaide footy great), Rhonda Burchmore (Entertainer), Bec Maddern (TV personality) and Andy Maher (Radio and TV personality).
Music star Vance Joy was scheduled to perform before the celebrity slide, but revealed on his social media platforms that he’d been forced to pull out after testing positive to Covid on Monday.
Neale Daniher will be the star of the show, with the ex-Demons coach and champion Fight MND campaigner to summon his strength and lead a march of Dees fans from Federation Square to the MCG — via down “Daniher’s Way” — for the major event . Dees fans will eventually meet up with Collingwood supporters — they’ll march from the club’s Olympic Boulevard headquarters — and enter the MCG as a united force for a great cause.
Fight MND is hoping to raise $2 million for MND research by the end of Monday.
You can buy a Big Freeze 8 beanie online, or visit your local Coles, Coles Express and Bunnings store.
Suit: The Black Panther from the Marvel series, complete with a mask.
Entry and splash: After calling for the crowd to lift at the top of the slide, he hit the water hard on his back while crossing himself. Fair to say Eddie didn’t enjoy the cold. Jason Dunstall reckons Betts said “oh shivers” when he came up from the bath.
Best quote: “I avoided ice baths as a player … but I like how we’re in the pocket.”
David King’s ratings: 17/20 (9/10 for costume, 8/10 for slide)
Jordan Lewis’ rating: 17/20 (9/10 for costume, 8/10 for slide)
Suit: Outstanding. Poison Ivy from Batman. Red hair plus a full green bodysuit with leaves she’d sewn on herself.
Entry and splash: Terrific rollercoaster-style scream as she went down the slide. Then an incredible lack of splash as the slide hit the water, with Rhonda’s head remaining above the water the whole time.
Best quote: “Neale this is for you … Only for you would I do something like this. I hate the cold, I hate everything about it, I’ve never been on a toboggan.”
David King’s ratings: 15/20 (10/10 for costume, 5/10 for slide)
Jordan Lewis’ rating: 15/20 (10/10 for costume, 5/10 for slide)
Suit: Radar O’Reilly from Mash, playing up on his own ‘Radar’ nickname, complete with green cap and teddy bear.
Entry and splash: Went fully under. Outstanding entry on the back and lapped up the time in the ice bath, letting out a big scream as he acknowledged the crowd. Managed to keep his toy bear prop dry as well.
Best quote: “This is four the 45-pluses in the audiences.”
David King’s ratings: 12/20 (4/10 for costume, 8/10 for slide)
Jordan Lewis’ rating: 11/20 (3/10 for costume, 8/10 for slide)
Suit: Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, complete with suit and bow and arrow.
Entry and splash: Could tell she’s used to the cold, delivering a big splash upon entry. Didn’t stop smiling all the way down. Would’ve been a perfect score if she’d shot the arrow while going down the slide.
Best quote: N / A
David King’s ratings: 18/20 (10/10 for costume, 8/10 for slide)
Jordan Lewis’ rating: 17/20 (9/10 for costume, 8/10 for slide)
Suit: Queen Elsa from Frozen. Unfortunately the dress slipped slightly upon entry. Thank goodness he had shorts on underneath the dress.
Entry and splash: Stole the show, as expected. Costume on-point and the entry was excellent, with arms and legs in the upon entry to create maximum splash. Then sank to the bottom and spread out the arms Randy Orton-style to acknowledge the crowd.
Best quote: “I gave the honors to my daughter to pick who I was going to be. I just hope I keep it altogether up there. I’d like to thank Max Gawn for donating his footy shorts … just in case we see too much of Elsa … I thought I did the corset up better than that.”
David King’s ratings: 16/20 (7/10 for costume, 9/10 for slide)
Jordan Lewis’ rating: 17/20 (7/10 for costume, 10/10 for slide)
Suit: Michael Dundee from Crocodile Dundee – and he absolutely nailed it! He had everything, with a knife, hat, fake tan, blonde hair and blow-up crocodile ‘Roger’.
Entry and splash: Using his teeth to grip the toy crocodile, Daniher entered the icy water on his back to make a big splash.
Best quote: “I’ve watched his (Paul Hagan’s) movies three times and still get a laugh out of it every time … Now THAT’s a knife.”
David King’s ratings: 20/20 (10/10 for costume, 10/10 for slide)
Jordan Lewis’ rating: 20/20 (10/10 for costume, 210/10 for slide)
Suit: Rocky Balboa, complete with golden gown, black-haired wig and gloves hanging around his neck.
Entry and splash: The 99th ever Big Freeze slider was no-fuss. A good splash after launching himself into water with legs and arms spread out. Strong double cobra fist pump after emerging from the water.
Best quote: “I love Rocky. I used to drink the raw eggs when I was younger, punch the carcasses – Rocky’s a big hero.”
David King’s ratings: 12/20 (8/10 for costume, 9/10 for slide)
Jordan Lewis’ rating: 11/20 (8/10 for costume, 8/10 for slide)
Suit: An emotional nod to Neale Daniher, dressing as Sir William Wallace from Braveheart. Great facepaint, attract and almighty sword. A good thing he wore bike shorts underneath the kilt.
Entry and splash: The 100th Big Freeze slider delivered. With sword raised high in the air, he screamed all the way with eyes wide open down the slide before entering back-first for a great splash.
Best quote: “I am Braveheart – a real nod to Neale, the bravest player I ever met … Neale Daniher has gathered all the footy clans and brought them together for the freedom against MND. Neale you are a superstar, we love you.”
David King’s ratings: 19/20 (10/10 for costume, 9/10 for slide)
Jordan Lewis’ rating: 19/20 (10/10 for costume, 9/10 for slide)
Suit: Trinity from the Matrix, complete with black suit jacket, skirt, wig and sunglasses.
Entry and splash: Probably the quickest slider, gaining ample speed on approach while she screamed (probably in fear). Hit the water hard after ample hangtime, but somehow managed to keep sunglasses on.
Best quote: “I thought it (the jacket) would offer me a lot of coverage, although now I’m worried about the zip.”
David King’s ratings: 12/20 (9/10 for costume, 10/10 for slide)
Jordan Lewis’ rating: 20/20 (10/10 for costume, 10/10 for slide)
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