SCOTLAND, Md. — It’s the “coolest event around.” This Saturday, December 4, several local Special Olympics athletes who have already made a mark in their respective sports are set to take a plunge in hopes of raising money to help them compete at the next level.

In conjunction with the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, the Southern Maryland athletes and various community members will be jumping into the cold waters of Point Lookout State Park. The athletes are hoping to raise funds to represent Maryland in a national competition at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex next summer.

A flag football team, a basketball team, and four track athletes are hoping to raise enough to make the trip to the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, after already seeing success in previous trials. The basketball team recently won gold in their division, earning their shot to play in the USA Games, according to the coach Jason Zimmerman. Now they want to make sure they seize that opportunity.

To afford the trip to compete in Florida, each athlete is trying to raise around $2,500. And along with the fundraising, the athletes will start training as early as this month.

But to offset the costs, the teams will be participating in several fundraisers throughout the year. That kicks off with the St. Mary’s Splash this upcoming weekend.

“Basically, what you’re doing, is paying an athlete to jump in the freezing cold water,” one of the athletes and Jason’s son, Kegan Zimmerman explained. This will be Kegan’s fourth time participating in the splash.

Although the basketball team currently trains in a small indoor court in Lexington Park, Jason says they hope to find a full-size court that the team can practice on soon.

If the team makes it to the USA Games and win, they may also have a shot to play in the 2024 World Games in Berlin, Germany.

For more details on the event, how to participate in the splash, or how to donate, visit

The teams will also be having a spirit night at The Green Turtle in California, Maryland on December 6. Be sure to check it out!

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