With less than a month to go before the 25th annual Polar Plunge Fest in Virginia Beach, which helps fund the Special Olympics, here’s a Top 10 List of what you should know about the Special Olympics and why your fundraising and participation matters:
1. The first Polar Plunge for Special Olympics took place 25 years ago in Virginia Beach—they now occur over all the world and raise millions every year.
2. Special Olympics is not just for kids. Our youngest athletes are 2 and there is no upper age limit.
3. Family members can also play! Our Unified Sports programs unite athletes with and without disabilities.
4. The word “retard” is offensive. More than half a million people have pledged not to use the word. You can too here: www.r-word.org
5. Little Feet Meets happen every spring all over the state and help our youngest athletes of all abilities to shine.
6. The 2017 state championships in Virginia will serve as qualifiers for the 2018 USA Games in Seattle.
7. Special Olympics athletes are never awarded used or donated trophies. All the ribbons and medals are brand new.
8. Team Virginia is looking for Honorary Coaches—learn more here: http://specialolympicsva.org/who-we-are/news/first-honorary-coach-of-team-virginia-named
9. Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program is the world’s largest Public Health initiative for people with disabilities.
10. You can get involved! It’s not too late to sign up to be a part of the Virginia Beach Polar Plunge Silver Anniversary celebrations! www.polarplunge.com
Learn more about the Polar Plunge, and party like a polar bear at this year’s event held Feb. 4, 2017, at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.