Local athlete spreads Special Olympics message through Global Messenger program

Nicholas D’Elicio one of hundreds participating in 2020 Polar Plunge in Radford

ROANOKE, Va. – Excitement is building for the 2020 New River Polar Plunge, which benefits Special Olympics Virginia, and one athlete is especially eager to dive right in.

"I'm very excited for it and it's going to be a lot of fun," said Nicholas D'Elicio, an athlete and global messenger with Special Olympics Virginia. "It's going to be cold, too, but bring a warm towel and hopefully that will help you stay dry!"

D'Elicio, of Roanoke, said he discovered Special Olympics' programs about five years ago with the help of a friend. He enjoys participating in bowling and basketball.

"It's really fun hanging out with other people like you that you get to have a lot of fun with," D'Elicio said.

As a global messenger, D'Elicio spreads the word about the work Special Olympics Virginia is doing in the community and in the lives of its athletes.

"A global messenger is basically like a person who is a public speaker to have a conversation with a whole bunch of people to talk about Special Olympics," D'Elicio said.

D'Elicio is one of the hundreds who will participate in this year's New River Polar Plunge. The fundraiser supports Special Olympics' work in southwest Virginia.

"Yeah, I'm ready," D'Elicio said. "I'm going to dive the whole way in!"

This year's Plunge has a penguin mascot, and D'Elicio has been learning facts about penguins to prepare for the event.

The 2020 New River Polar Plunge will take place Saturday, February 22 at Dudley’s Landing at Bisset Park in Radford. Click here to sign up or donate.

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