University of Nebraska-Lincoln Spirit Squad Takes a Cold Polar Plunge

April 10, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

                    Cheerleaders are known for their enthusiastic spirit of supporting their school’s team’s athletes but the Nebraska Spirit Squad has made it their mission to support all athletes, even ones who are not wearing Husker red and white. The Nebraska Spirit Squad spends one day every year jumping into frigid water to support the Nebraska Special Olympics Athletes.  On March 1, 2014, twenty-five Nebraska Huskers cheerleaders, their coach, and their squad manager showed their support of the Special Olympics by being the first group to go plunging into the freezing water of Holmes Lake in with many other plungers who were sporting outrageous costumes. Coach Erynn Nicholson stated “We were all proud to be able to show our support of other athletes in our community along with the Huskers!”

                   This year marks the seventh anniversary of the Spirit Squad’s participation in the Polar Plunge. One of the younger members of the squad remarked, “I am glad that we were the first to run in”. This year also marks the largest amount of team members to join in the plunge at a whopping twenty-five team members. While it means a lot to the Nebraska Special Olympics, this experience has a great impact on the participants. “Overall, we were excited to be involved with such an incredible organization, and having the opportunity to tip off this great event was such an honor for our team” sophomore cheerleader, Jessie, stated.  No matter how wonderful and uplifting the experience was, the whole event was still somewhat painful, which just attests to the team’s dedication and strength. One cheerleader, Haley, spoke of how the bitter cold (at only 8 degrees not including wind-chill) colored her thoughts on the experience. “I wanted to cry when I had to take off my extra layers of clothes because I knew it would be all downhill from there. Standing in the cold waiting to be given the signal to run into the water (that was only 34 degrees) was literally painful, and right when were told to go a huge guest of wind came through!” Haley relates of her experience. Haley went on to say that she was grateful for the opportunity but would have liked for the weather to be a little warmer.

                   The Polar Plunge is a fantastic event for the Nebraska Special Olympics and for the Lincoln community. It gives everyone a chance to come together to support a great cause, have a once in a lifetime experience, and remember to be grateful for everything in his or her life.  The team was “amazed at the number of people dressed in costumes, awake, and full of energy for the event” said one cheerleader.  The Nebraska Spirit Squad truly knows that the real purpose of cheerleading is to support all athletes and communities no matter what colors are on their uniform.

Written by
Jennifer Cooley

 

Photos courtesy University of Nebraska Spirit Squad


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