The Polar Plunge inspires the Madison Capitols’ first Special Olympics Night

March 5, 2018 Blog, Events, Featured

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Former Badgers national champion and professional hockey player Andrew Joudrey took his very first Polar Plunge in Madison last month. Now serving as president of the Madison Capitols of the United States Hockey League, Joudrey also brought along the Capitols’ mascot, D.C. Eagle for the experience.

Joudrey and D.C. Eagle were both so moved by the athletes and the overwhelming community support on display at the Polar Plunge that they started thinking of ways to give back to the Special Olympics athletes in the Madison area.

“Special Olympics is one of the leading examples of how to encourage teamwork, fitness and community in a fun and positive environment,” Joudrey said. “We want to help in our small way to raise awareness, support and volunteerism for Special Olympics and your athletes that compete the right way.”

With that in mind, Joudrey and SOWI staff worked together to organize the Madison Capitols’ first-ever Special Olympics Night this Friday, March 9 at their home arena, Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena. SOWI athletes receive free admission for the 7:05 p.m. game against the Fargo Force and $2 from every ticket purchased by supporters with the special promo code (SOFIT) comes back to SOWI. A SOWI athlete will also get to make the ceremonial puck drop to begin the game.

The USHL is the premier junior hockey league in the U.S. Elite hockey players 20 or under play in the USHL to develop their skills and play at the highest of levels in the amateur ranks. Some players even go on to play in the NHL. The team is co-owned by NHL all-star and Madison resident Ryan Suter. Suter’s father, Bob, was famously a member of the Miracle on Ice hockey team that won the gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics.

“Special Olympics is one of the leading examples of how to encourage teamwork, fitness and community in a fun and positive environment.”

SOWI is excited to be able to partner with Wisconsin hockey royalty for this opportunity. The action on the ice will be fast-paced and thrilling for the athletes and their friends and family, but the partnership is also important due to the values of the Capitols and Joudrey.

“I have personally learned so much through sports, teamwork and the sense of community it brings. Sports can teach us how to establish goals, learn to cope with failure and success, respect for your competitors, and how to be a member of a team,” Joudrey said. “It also provides such a sense of fulfillment and pride after giving your best effort.”

That certainly sounds a lot like being “brave in the attempt.” Joudrey and SOWI hope this is just the first of what will become an annual tradition.

“I hope they (SOWI athletes) enjoy the game and the excitement of the pace and action. I also hope they see the camaraderie and enjoyment our players have from playing and competing together,” Joudrey said. “Lastly, I just want them to know that we are proud to support their efforts in whatever way we can and that we want to continue this event each season moving forward.”

SOWI is grateful to Joudrey and the Capitols for their support, so let’s support them by heading out to Bob Suter’s Ice Arena on Friday!

SOWI supporters can get tickets using the promo code (SOFIT) for the Madison Capitols vs. Fargo Force on March 9, 2018 HERE. For athletes, please contact Brittany Hoegh at bhoegh@specialolympicswisconsin.org or (608) 442-5683.


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