It was a cold February day in the state of Colorado. The sun was shining brightly, but not enough to protect us from the piercing chill in the air. A good thousand people gathered for something crazy, something special and something colder than any of us could wrap our minds around…
As we stared upon the frozen waters of the Chatfield Reservoir, a buzz was circulating; an energy which combined excitement, nervousness and a peculiar sense of adventure. A Chic-Fil-A cow graciously bounced around the stadium, local sports mascots were dressed in outrageous costumes. Our group stood ready; poised to suffer, quite possibly, the coldest experience of our lives.
February 11, 2012 was clearly no ordinary day. Three brave participants of the EdgeLink team, armed in their team gear and hot coffee mugs in hand, were determined to conquer this cold, cold reservoir. We took pictures and talked of what lay ahead of us. However, as time inched forward, so did we—in the line leading to the frozen waters. We slowly proceeded forward to the 10 x 10 hole which was drilled around the miles of ice. Finally, it was time to take the plunge and we were as ready as we were ever going to be. We looked at each other, looked at the water, looked back at each other and JUMPED into the frigid water! The cold hit us like a pack of Denver Bronco linebackers but it didn’t stop us from proceeding with a quick splash war followed by a quick departure. We had done it—We successfully took the plunge! And we were FREEZIN’! But “freezin’ for a reason”…
We were participants in the Colorado Special Olympics Polar Plunge—a unique opportunity to support Special Olympics Colorado athletes by taking a flying leap into the frigid waters of a Colorado lake. All proceeds collected by plungers benefit the more than 11,000 Special Olympics athletes across the state of Colorado. In three years, plunges have raised nearly $300,000 for Special Olympics Colorado. Anyone with a little guts and a warm heart wanting to support Special Olympics Colorado athletes were encouraged to participate—and we obliged.
Special Olympics is an unprecedented global movement which, through quality sports training and competition, improves the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and, in turn, the lives of everyone they touch. Special Olympics empowers people with intellectual disabilities to realize their full potential and develop their skills through year-round sports training and competition. As a result, Special Olympics athletes become fulfilled and productive members of their families and the communities in which they live.
Today, Special Olympics stands a leader in the field of intellectual disability and has sharpened the focus of its mission as a sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities, and more importantly, a champion for social change. Children and adults who participate in Special Olympics events exhibit boundless courage and enthusiasm. In their pursuits, they not only discover new abilities and talents but “their voices” as well.
The EdgeLink team was delighted to participate in this wonderful event and to support this awesome organization. The Special Olympics oath is, “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” These are certainly words we could all live by and benefit from.
Learn more about Special Olympics volunteer opportunities
Get involved next year’s Special Olympics Colorado Polar Plunge