CARSON CITY, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - Millions of athletes compete in Special Olympics world-wide. It's an opportunity to take the stage while gaining social, emotional and physical strength. This year, a leader in the Silver State is taking his uniform to the freezing waters of Tahoe, all for the athletes.
Nearly 30-years of law enforcement shines behind Nevada Highway Patrol Chief Troy Abney's badge.
"At one point during my career, I ran Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's security detail," Abney said.
It was a high-profile relationship that would lead to 10-years with another cause too.
"His mother-in-law, Eunice Shriver, was the founder of Special Olympics," Abney said. "Quite a few members of the detail actually got involved with Special Olympics on their own time as a result."
After close to three decades with the California Highway Patrol, Abney is now the Chief of NHP.
His leadership and history with Special Olympics are taking him into Tahoe's freezing waters, Saturday.
Reporter: "What's going to be going through your mind right before you take the big plunge?" Abney: "Getting out of the water as quickly as possible."
It will be a quick dip propelling dozens of others to freeze and raise funds to keep Special Olympics free for all competitors.
"For me it's a noble cause," Abney said. "It's the cause that we've chosen as a group in the Nevada Highway Patrol to support. So in support of that, I'm willing to jump into Lake Tahoe."
Because Abney knows Olympians with decades of experience behind their medals, will channel their support from the lake's shores.
"Just as we cheer on our athletes, I'm sure they're going to be cheering us on to get wet as well," he said.
Inspired to help? Here's how you can. Register at SONV.org. Then start freezing for a reason! The plunge is Saturday, March 23, at noon. You can also join our team, "Freezing with News 4."