Special Olympics Plane Pull raises thousands of dollars, brings hundreds out

Teams competed to pull a Boeing 757 plane 12 feet

DENVER – Hundreds of people were at the Denver International Airport Saturday morning but they weren’t attempting to board a plane, they attempted to pull one.

Special Olympics Colorado held its annual Plane Pull fundraiser in an event that has brought more than $250,000 to the program.

Greg Leonard competed with Team Hyatt Regency Denver. He joked that it was a fairly small plane being pulled, but the plane weighed in at around 164,000 pounds. 

Like Leonard, dozens of people joined teams and competed to be the fastest team to move the plane 12 feet.

Justin Combs with Team Denver Plain Clothes ‘Pull-lice’ said, “You’re looking at this plane-thing and there’s no way it’s going to move. Then you start pulling and you get it going, and it’s a great feeling.”

Knowing Combs’ strength benefiting another group of athletes gives him an extra boost of confidence.

Combs said he enjoyed putting on a silly shirt and a crazy hat, and working as a team to support the Special Olympic athletes.

The program doesn’t charge its athletes to participate, so it relies on fundraisers like Saturday’s Plane Pull to keep the program alive.

“Let me win, but if I cannot, let me be brave in the attempt.” That’s the Special Olympics motto -- words that helped plenty of people pull that plane.

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