Monte Vista High School senior, Brady, has been a fan of Special Olympics since he was in sixth grade. He loves the organization and working with his classmates with intellectual disabilities. He loves that they’re able to showcase their abilities, which are often underestimated. He loves the thrill that they get from participating in sports.
The Polar Plunge, however, is something that he’s had to warm up to (pun intended).
“At first I thought it as absolutely ridiculous,” he explained. “Everyone dresses up in crazy costumes and runs into the freezing waters in the San Francisco Bay. Like what does this have to do with Special Olympics? But after a while I realized that it really represents how much we’re willing to do and how much we support this cause. That’s how much we care.”
Brady is gearing up for his seventh Plunge this March and recently helped host the 10th Special Olympics Basketball Exhibition at Monte Vista. The event featured dozens of students in special education from Monte Vista and Los Cerros Middle School coming together to compete in games, skills drills and other fun activities with their general education peers.
“I think it is of utmost importance to get the special education kids to interact with general education kids because I think a lot of times, in society as a whole, there is a big divide between the two groups,” said Brady. “I think that can lead sometimes to a lack of understanding of the abilities of the special education kids. In many ways they’re just like you and me.”
In addition to the action on the court, Monte Vista’s basketball event featured the Special Olympics Athlete Oath, the National Anthem and support from the school’s cheerleading squad. Students from Monte Vista and Los Cerros, two Unified Champion Schools, consistently host Special Olympics events and participate in the Polar Plunge, raising money from family and friends to support the program. This year’s United Airlines Dash & Splash in San Francisco will be held on Saturday, March 3, at Aquatic Park.
“It’s freezing and it’s awful when you’re in the water but at the same time it’s awesome to see everyone laughing and still having a good time,” said Brady. “Everyone’s there for the same cause.”
Support Brady and his classmates in their Plunge fundraising goals by clicking on the link below!