Special Olympics Polar Plunge helps make dreams come true

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(Jan. 18, 2016) -- We're a little more than a month away from Special Olympics Indiana's huge fundraiser, the Polar Plunge.

CBS4 Indy is a proud sponsor of the cause that makes so many dreams come true, including those of one man who practices in Boone County.

Gregory Johnson, 25, loves sports, but said he was often limited as a child.

"For special needs people we don’t have the opportunity in normal leagues to have playing time," said Johnson.

Those days sitting on the bench are behind him.  Johnson is now entering his fourth year as a Special Olympics athlete.

"I am an all-year-round athlete," said Johnson.  "It started with track and field and then I make my way to softball.  From softball to bowling, then from bowling to basketball."

Johnson said he is good, too.

"My medal count currently is two gold medals."

Cultivating competition among children and adults with intellectual disabilities through the Special Olympics isn't cheap either.

"I know a bunch of my teammates wouldn’t be able to, including me, be able to pay for the uniform costs, the boarding costs, the food costs," said Johnson.  "There would be no way I’d be able to do it."

That’s where you come in!  Special Olympics Indiana hosts fundraising events through the year.  The biggest is the icy dip known as the Polar Plunge.  Johnson has never done it before, but this year he is going in the frigid water.

"Special Olympics gives me a way to positively let my energy out."

You can sign up with Marianne Lyles' team or Tim Doty's team. The CBS4 Morning anchor with the most people joining their team does not have to do the plunge on live TV.  The 2016 Indy Polar Plunge will take place Saturday, March 5.

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