‘Over the Edge’: Your chance to rappel a skyscraper for Special Olympics Washington

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

parella special olympicsSEATTLE — It’s not an opportunity you get every day — a chance to rappel down a skyscraper in downtown Seattle for a good cause, but the Washington chapter of the Special Olympics offered the chance to descend the exterior of a 40-story skyscraper.

“We like to call it ‘Courage Matching Courage’ — the courage to step over the edge at 490 feet, matching the courage of 10,000 athletes across the state,” Dan Wartelle with Special Olympics Washington said.

Getting your chance to rappel the building is easy, even if scaling down it won’t be.

“Essentially what the event is, you raise $1,000 to go over the edge and $650 supports one athlete for an entire year of competition,” Wartelle said.

I’ll be going “over the edge” and so will Rep. Dave Reichert.

“This is 40 stories, right?,” Reichert asked. “Why didn`t they go 80? Why are we only doing 40?”

A longtime supporter of Special Olympics, the former King County Sheriff did have one request.

“I just don’t want you screaming all the way down, OK?’ …(but) I can`t promise that either,” he said.

“The main thing to remember is do not look down,” said David Rose, who rappelled the building last year.

“What you do is turn around and when you first come up, make conversation with the guys helping you with the ropes — anything to keep from leaning over and looking over the edge. So then, just lean back because when you do, you’re already over the edge. If you think about climbing out over it, you’re going to freak out,” he said.

“You get up there, get excited. Your heart’s pumping a little bit, but when they come down it’s like bungee jumping or jumping out of an airplane. They’re excited like ‘That was fantastic’ and there’s an athlete down there to high five you and give you a medal. It truly is a great event,” Wartelle said.

There are only 175 slots for the event taking place Aug. 10-11 and it sells out every year.

If you would like to go ‘Over the Edge’, or donate to someone who is, CLICK HERE for a link to Special Olympics Washington.