Brett and Luke Hanson are 21-year-old twins – with Luke being just minutes older. They are also Special Olympics Illinois athletes having been involved with the organization for more than 15 years. Starting with the Young Athlete program, they now compete in multiple sports, including athletics, softball, basketball, and powerlifting. Brett also tried his hand (technically, his feet) at soccer for a time.
Both gentlemen are members of the S.O.A.R (Special Opportunities in Recreation) team in Bloomington-Normal, the community where they have lived their entire lives.
And now, they are ready for the next step in their lives – which includes being the 2022 ambassadors of the local Bloomington Polar Plunge. The twins have been on hand for past events, including Row 4 Dough, a fitness-based fundraiser, as well as the area’s annual Special Olympics Illinois Region G Golf Fore Good outing.
This assignment as Polar Plunge ambassadors will include live interviews, check presentations, and more. “My brother and I, we can be an example for younger kids,” said Luke.
The twins excitedly described what Special Olympics Illinois has meant to them over the years, both agreeing that the experience has made a huge impact on their lives. Being a part of the community has been “awesome,” Brett explained, and has led to them being the “happiest we have been in our whole lives.”
The experience has also introduced them to many people, from athletes to coaches and volunteers, they may not have met otherwise. Brett explained how it has become a support system for them both, especially as they take this next step.
“Everyone knows we can both do it,” Luke concluded.
Another first for the twins will be actually taking the Polar Plunge on February 26 at Miller Park Lake. “We’re going to freeze our legs off,” declared Luke. “Yes, I always say that too,” Brett quickly added. “But, it’s worth it.”
Supporting the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois, like Luke and Brett Hanson, is certainly worth it. The annual Illinois Law Enforcement Polar Plunge brings together thousands of warm-hearted individuals from across the state. It’s a great way for everyone – individuals, organizations and businesses to support the life-changing programming provided by Special Olympics Illinois.
Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support. Programming includes competitive sports as well as health and leadership.
If you would like to commit to be bold and get cold this winter, visit plungeillinois.com today to learn more and find your local Polar Plunge.