By Patrick Conroy ‘22

The Polar Plunge is one of the largest fundraisers for the United States Special Olympics team. Thousands of people flood over to major bodies of water across the country to take a dive into the icy water.

Every year Brother Rice teams up with Mother McAuley in the Illinois Polar Plunge on Lake Michigan. Fifty participants took part in raising a total of $15,000 for the Special Olympics and various special children’s charities between the two schools. Overall the event raised $1.8 million dollars.

Senior Jacob Wizgird documented the event with a go pro camera while going into Lake Michigan. Wizgird said, “It was very cold but a good time all for a great cause.”

The money raised for the plunge will help the athletes get year-round training. It also builds a sense of belonging between the athletes and the community around them. Seeing thousands of individuals, regardless of their mental or physical condition, is a powerful message to encourage athletes no matter what situation they may face.

Senior Tim Hayes said, “We raised the sixth most amount of money at the event, so I believe we sent a message of what we can do as a community at Rice.”

The underlying message is that no matter who you are, you should always feel included in our world. Given current events throughout the world, the next Special Olympics have the chance to showcase to the world that everyone is human while also sending a message of peace across the globe.