Saturday, thousands of men, women and children tested their strength by participating in the 6th Annual Plane Pull for Special Olympics Illinois at O’Hare International Airport.
More than 100 teams of 20 (a new record) played tug-of-war with an Airbus 300 aircraft weighing more than 180,000 pounds. The unique event was sponsored by the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and UPS. This was a new record for the number of teams signed up. The teams help raise more than $150,000 for Special Olympics Illinois.
Teams competed in one of three divisions: Open Division (companies, gyms, school teams, clubs, friends and families), Public Safety Division (law enforcement officers, fire fighters, military personnel, etc.) and a new Hotel Division (for groups in the hotel industry).
Each team tried to pull the aircraft a distance of 12-feet in the least amount of time. The overall Plane Pull champion and winner of the Open Division was Meade One with a time of 10.03 seconds on its first try. The Public Safety Division champion was the Lake County Sheriff Department (10.84 seconds) and the Hotel Division winner was the Hilton Chicago O’Hare (12.25 seconds).
In addition to the Plane Pull, the Chicago Fire Department took visitors and participants to the sky in its extension ladder truck for a unique, panoramic view of the plane pull and the airfield. There was also a DJ, food and fun activities for children.