Michigan Athletics and Special Olympics
In the fall of 2012, the University of Michigan Athletic Department announced a department-wide community service relationship with the Special Olympics of Michigan, committing team member and venue support to the non-profit organization.
» U-M Athletics Partners with Special Olympics
Soon after, the first-ever Polar Plunge was held at Michigan Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. Throughout the year U-M Athletics participated in several other Special Olympic events, including basketball, spring games and the Polar Plunge. The athletic department will continue its work with the Special Olympics on local and regional events throughout southeastern Michigan during the 2014 calendar year.
» 2013 Polar Plunge Photo Gallery
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic type sports for all children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
2014 Polar Plunge
The University of Michigan Polar Plunge will take place on Saturday, Feb. 22, inside Michigan Stadium -- the Big House!
Plungers will suit up like a Wolverine when they change in the locker rooms. They will also get the opportunity to walk through the tunnel and take the plunge ON the field, inside a pool.
The Polar Plunge is known for its wacky costume contest where plungers will compete for awards that range from best to worst costume, most creative, craziest, best Michigan theme and many more.
The event is open to anyone willing to "BEAR" the elements for a good cause. The object is simple, raise money, and then plunge into the cold water! Be sure to register to receive detailed information!
Polar Plunge Schedule of Events:
Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. outside of the tunnel.
The Parade of Costumes will take place down the tunnel and onto the field.
Plunge will begin at noon in the Big House.
Post plunge party/awards immediately following the last plunger.
2014 Special Olympics Events
Additional events will be announced at a later date.
In the News
5/16/2013 - U-M Athletic Department Finds Special Smiles From Special Olympics
2/20/2013 - Men's Basketball Staff Takes Plunge for Special Olympics
2/21/2013 - Brandon's Blog: A Chilling Experience at Michigan Stadium
2/20/2013 - Big House Set to Host Polar Plunge on Saturday
2/15/2013 - MGoBlue.com Auction to Benefit Special Olympics of Michigan
1/25/2013 - Michigan Announces Prizes, Celebrity Judges for Polar Plunge
12/13/2012 - Michigan Announces Plans for Polar Plunge Benefiting Special Olympics
11/29/2012 - Michigan Announces Partnership with Special Olympics
Special Olympics Quick Facts
The Special Olympics serves more than four million athletes in 229 accredited programs in 170 countries worldwide.
Special Olympics programs are provided at no cost to athletes and their families.
In the state of Michigan there are more than 20,000 athletes, with more than 700 living in Washtenaw County.
Special Olympics is for children and adults. The average age of Special Olympics athletes in Michigan is 27.
There are 12 state-level competitions and more than 450 local and regional competitions in Michigan.
The first Polar Plunge was held in Saginaw in 2000, raising nearly $10,000.
The Polar Plunge at Michigan Stadium, one of 28 held around the state, will be a major fundraiser for the Special Olympics.