CREAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Freezin’ for a reason.
Amber Owens and Stephanie Pyles are just a handful of courageous souls who participate in the annual Special Olympics Polar Bear Plunge. Known as the Spunky Super Plungers, this is the pair’s 20th plunge, and it certainly won’t be their last as they are on track to do 24.
Their reasons for taking the frigid dip hit close to home. Amber has a sister with Down syndrome and she’s has been involved with individuals with intellectual disabilities her entire life as they’ve always had a special place in her heart.
“My why for Special Olympics, in general, is because of her,” said Community Services Deputy for the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Amber Owens. “There was an incident when I was a child, we were out in public and some teenagers treated her very cruelly, and from that point on I felt it was my job as not only her big sister but advocates for individuals without the ability to speak up ore be represented to be that advocate. “
And as a Special Olympic athlete herself, Stephanie does the plunge not only because it is fun, but because she wants to raise awareness. Special Olympics has served as another avenue for her to make friends.
“We get to go have fun and make friends and get to play all the sports, like go skiing and basketball and track and everything,” said Pyles.
Stephanie participates in a variety of sports, including softball, skiing, bowling, and bocce, and she hopes other athletes will continue to have the same opportunities. Because these opportunities, these moments, are truly something special.
For more information about the Spunky Super Plungers or Special Olympics, feel free to contact the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office. To help the Spunky Super Plungers reach their $20,000 goal, click here. The team will also host an informational telethon (410-579-3738) from Jan. 22- Jan. 24.
The Polar Bear Plunge is part of Maryland’s history. For the past 25 years, thousands of plungers have jumped into the icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay all in support of Special Olympics Maryland. Your dedication to our 8,716 athletes is impactful and has created countless inclusion experiences across the state of Maryland.