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Super Plunging and winning medals – that’s all Danny Grau does! Our Crab Cake Row brought back a special person and our pal Danny Grau, who is an international equestrian medalist and champion of our hearts. Danny and his dad Fred joined Nestor at Pappas in Cockeysville on “A Cup Of Soup Or Bowl Week” for the Maryland Food Bank.


special olympics, plunging, danny, equestrian, years, beijing, water, good, sports, horse, pappas, fred, polar bear plunge, hour, metals, daytime, cold, maryland, track, warm


Danny Grau, Fred Grau, Nestor J. Aparicio

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:04

welcome back we are live at Pappas for the final few hours is weighing at three hours left we were five o’clock it’s all brought to you by our friends at the Maryland Food Bank and the Maryland lottery. Folks who bring buy canned goods dry goods for our friends at the Maryland Food Bank. I am giving folks that I like and love like Danny ground is that Fred Maryland lottery scratch off tickets it’s 10 times the cash also our friends at the window nation 866 90 nation 0% financing for the next five years on the Windows I’m getting some doors this year and Jiffy Lube multi care Lennon Raskin is missing out. The folks here at Pappas have brought me a delicious cup. Because it is a cup of Super Bowl I want with the cup of soup, not the bowl, because I it’s gonna be shorter segment for me because these guys are going to talk and I’m going to eat and have some soup. I got some 5050 I got a half and a half, which is delicious. I have been knowing this young man. Frame. When did I meet you and Danny? I mean was it 97? A was last century was it was


Fred Grau  01:08

it was I think it was 98 We did a bus trip to Pittsburgh. 98

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:12

you you had the ball. Pittsburgh is ravens country sign did you not? Yes. Look at De Danny laughing He knows that was good. It’s really good to see you. You got a medal. What’s going on? Oh, that’s for Special Olympics. Yes. What went? Where did you get that? You have probably several metals, several metals. Well, like I’ve been known Fred, Danny, on behalf of Special Olympics. Danny is one of the all time greats. They live up in this area. But I’ve known you forever. And you were coming to my events at the turn of the century. I bet you were born shows back in the day. I and and Danny started riding horses, right? Like this is, as I know you as the Olympian equestrian, which is that’s your athletic prowess. But lately, you’ve been jumping in and out of water and this cold bath every year. But there’s a whole childhood journey with Danny and his special journey that you put them on a horse. So you gotta we got to talk about this guy. Right? You You have a whole reel of pictures you sent me before you went to Beijing before I did. Did you not?

Fred Grau  02:18

Yes. Yeah, we went to he. He was selected in 2007 for the USA team 16 years ago. All right. For a question. He was on a USA Special Olympics team in Beijing in Shanghai now where

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:32


were you living that you could get Danny on horses back at the in the arts? Well, he

Fred Grau  02:36

was doing he’s been doing therapeutic horseback riding since he was nine years old and participating in Special Olympics and equestrian since he was 12. How

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:45

old are you now? You’re 13 Now right? Now, do you for real? He’s

Danny Grau  02:50

just kidding. I’m 37


Nestor J. Aparicio  02:52

years 37? Yeah, you’ll always be 12 to me. You know, I love you. You know back then. I mean, even when you because when you were a kid you come on the show be Wiseacre you Come on, give me a hard time. I’m glad you grew up. You’re all mature naked,

Danny Grau  03:07

just to let you know it. Eventually, as you get older, number it age doesn’t matter. It’s just it’s just a number. It

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:15

is just a number. But you’re doing great, man. She’s still riding horses.

Danny Grau  03:20


Kind of Yeah,

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:23


Fred Grau  03:24

still riding. Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:25

Danny for you. First day. What do you remember about Beijing and riding and do you have a medal from the Olympics? Yes, I do. What was your special What did you do dressage? What was it called?


Danny Grau  03:39

The shot? Yes. Yes.

Fred Grau  03:41

Was he he did a trail course. And he did equitation and then he did like a barrel relay or something like 5050 Shoot loss got there. He had three events and he got a fourth the bronze and silver and is three events. What do you keep your metals

Danny Grau  04:00

in a safe place.

Fred Grau  04:03


Two of the metals are actually framed with a collage of pictures from

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:06

from the event and this has been 17 years now.

Fred Grau  04:10

2526 now?

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:14

Oh, six, wasn’t it?


Fred Grau  04:15

oh seven. Yeah, it was a seven so 16 years? Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:18

Danny, I’m here today to talk about not just Special Olympics. But what the Polar Bear Plunge is like because I’ve never really been down to the Polar Bear Plunge. So why don’t you take the time? Tell everybody if they come to the Polar Bear Plunge? What happens when the minute you get there and park your car because I’m thinking you guys are eating soft drink and stuff. I bet there’s music because you you do 24 plunges, right you’re a super plunger Correct? Yeah, correct. So what will I find if I go down to the Polar Bear Plunge other than you being very cold in the water and be laughing

Danny Grau  04:51

That’s a tough question. Well, each UK each, every hour each plunge. They have like a different theming like For example one one of the plunges may be like a Ravens theme plans. The next one could be maybe like, I don’t know, like, we think so you change it’d be an Orioles. Yeah, could too. It could be an orange one or it could even be a Terrapins. One.

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:15


So every hour you change clothes. Yes, basically. Yes. So it’s a little bit like a Madonna concert. You just change your wardrobe off and then you go dip, and you come out. Is there a point where it’s not cold? 10th hour 12 hour? Is there ever? Where you’re like, Oh, you gotta go do it again. I’m really looking forward to it. Yes,

Danny Grau  05:35

but only that point only ever happens. Like if the air temperature itself is like it was when we went like warmer than within the water temp.

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:44

Today would have been a great day. Right?

Danny Grau  05:46

Yeah. Hey, last week last not last week. But the Week. The week prior? It was like, upper 60s. There’s like 68 there.


Nestor J. Aparicio  05:55

The day of if I are to plunge it would be that kind of day.

Danny Grau  05:58

Yeah, the water temp was 40 degrees. But at least the outside air. It makes a huge difference when the outside air is warmer to

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:04

Absolutely. What is the coldest day you’ve plunged on? Do you remember that? I think specifically but have you ever like going in through the ice or no?

Danny Grau  06:15


Well, when you’re one year, we’re not quite full ice but it wasn’t. It was not far from it. It was the water temp was probably about 35 Maybe I’m gonna say 3037 36. Man you older than then then this year for sure. No, he’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:32

been super plunging for a long time. They didn’t do the super plunge in the beginning. Right for Adam in the Super plunge. He’s like this century thing, right? Yeah,

Fred Grau  06:39

he started plunging in 2011 2010 2011. And it was 20 degrees outside at three inches of snow on the beach. And that was his first year he plunged and not Nesta did it for you. He was he was actually scared to get into water. Believe it or not. He had to have a couple of people walk him into the water. But once he got into water, he was hooked. And that was it. He’s been having to do it every year since then. That was the regular plunge. And he started to super plunging like in 2017

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:10

Yeah, you I had you on right when the first Super plunging happen. I had you on the radio show. Danny growl was here is his pop Fred. They’ve been at it a long time Dan he’s now 37 years old. I’ve known Danny I guess 25 years I’ve had mst 25 years so you’ve been here from the very beginning. Do you like being cold or do do is this because it doesn’t it doesn’t sound like fun to me dan you know for me talk me into this. Okay, well you know what I’m going to eat some soup and you can get persuasive so talk tell me why I want to do this and why it’s a good eye


Danny Grau  07:44

for Oh yeah, one more thing I should include that I forgot to mention is okay. years prior they used to have in the past what they did during the Super plunge is they used to provide hot tubs so you can go in every hour each time you come in for that however because like however for what I don’t know for like whatever VT reason I’m guessing ever since COVID For obvious reasons and for probably for budget reasons I’m sure to whatever ever since then having hot tubs have been just like permanently discontinued for good

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:21

that’s why they go this year

Danny Grau  08:22

but they say however however there is a second alternative though they have those those legit space heaters and they’re not these cheap like

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:33


layers and when they put their feet in and on a cold day right there’s this space

Danny Grau  08:37

heater that though but these are like a tent. Yes and these are really good heaters they they’re very efficient.

Fred Grau  08:43

We have heated tents and they have even changed

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:47

okay explain this to me now Danny come on and work with me here. You run down into the water and Terps gear this hour or ravens whatever whatever theme it is toga, whatever it is right. You wrote Taylor Swift rundown and you freeze How long do you have to stay in the water in order for it to count just


Danny Grau  09:04

as long as it’s just as long No Limit as long as it’s long enough that you actually get wet and then you can go back just

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:10

to get wet. How high up Do I have to get to? Well,

Fred Grau  09:15

anything you want?



It’s like yeah

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:21

I didn’t know this. That’s me. I could be a wimpy like plunger you’re super puncher to Fred No,

Fred Grau  09:27

I’m just as tell boy I refuse to get into water I’m assist you when it comes to that.

Danny Grau  09:32

No I don’t I mean, now for me I do go all the way under oath during during daytime No Not every time just during the daytime but the sun is during daytime during nighttime, maybe about up to my waist or maybe slightly higher like more like halfway like right here okay, but only only only do full blow I only go full blown in during during daytime and daytime only


Nestor J. Aparicio  09:59

will you be Listen this program for a long time so you know, you know you’re stronger than me. We’ve been through this well, right. All

Danny Grau  10:06

right, well, let’s test this.

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:09

As to you. I knew this kid was gonna give me trouble. You’re always gonna be 12 to me. How is your life? Tell me about your life right now? What makes you happy? Damn. Other than plunging?

Danny Grau  10:21


No, everything, everything. Yeah. This family

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:25

dance journey because I’ve known her since he was a boy, you got him involved in Special Olympics. Make a case ever out here for everybody that when they do all this crazy plunging and stuff, it’s for people like you. Oh, absolutely.

Fred Grau  10:35

I mean, the pledge. He’s given back to Special Olympics when he’s does a pledge because he raises money for the privilege of pledge and 24 times and 24 hours at the end of January in the Chesapeake Bay. He has to raise a lot of money for Special Olympics. And I mean, he’s, he’s Special Olympics is the best thing that’s ever happened to him, ever. And, I mean, his confidence is

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:58

find out about it. And where were you when you made this decision? Because I you know, I, my kids 39 now, and I still think he’s 12 too. I told him that the other day, but I’ve watched this young man grow up and it’s inspirational really is well, he started my favorite people, you know that Danny.


Fred Grau  11:16

He started off with therapeutic writing. And then we use like 15 or 16, we found out about Special Olympic softball, so I got him involved in that. And then in the fall, we found out about Special Olympic soccer. So we got him involved with that. And now Now he’s involved in like, five different sports for Special Olympics. So all year long, except for the summertime, but he’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:34

a metal holder in equestrian. What were his events, I think of like Springsteen’s daughter jumping, what

Fred Grau  11:42

is it that he he does jumper shows where he does writing now but there, I mean, it’s small. But his, the Special Olympics, the horse, Special Olympics advanced was a trail where we had like an obstacle course. And then equitation is is that you have an instructor in the center of your ring, and she gives instructions and you have to follow the instructions on the horse. Okay. And then he’s done a thing like dressage, where he’s it’s almost it’s an empty course. But he has to go on. He’s certain patterns. And he has to follow the pattern better than everybody else. So it’s, it’s very complicated in that regard. So he was very good at it, right? Yeah. He’s very good and fearless about getting on a horse fearless about getting a new horse.

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:27


You love the horses? Yeah. Yeah. You love animals? Yes. Yeah, I got my kitty cat. I can’t I can’t ride on her. But Danny growl is here, Fred. Growl they do. Just amazing work for the Special Olympics. I wouldn’t want anybody else out to talk about plunging other than you know.

Danny Grau  12:44

Yeah, but anyway, the newest sport that’s coming up right now this season is snowshoeing. What is that? Writing of snow on snow? Of course.

Fred Grau  12:52

You race it’s like track on snow. Yeah, and you wear snow shoes and you race on on a snow track? 200 meter circular racetrack

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:01

it’s cold there, right? Yeah. What are you gonna do warm sport? Well, we gotta go we gotta get you surfing or something. You know what I mean? He just trying to change volleyball. I’m for beach volleyball. I like the warm things he does track


Danny Grau  13:12

now. Track and track and field. Yeah, I substitute. I substitute equestrian for track and field now because you’re you’ve aged out of equestrian your two? I’m sorry? Not a softball. Sorry, my bad. I switched from track. I’m switched from softball to track and

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:27

field track and field. All right. You want any medals there? Yes. All right. Can I read this one? Play united, unified to live unified? Sorry about that Special Olympics unified sports that is that is that a bronze? Gold? Silver? Silver? All right. Is that from your question?

Fred Grau  13:45

I don’t know what sport is for I suppose.

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:49


I have so many does have so many doesn’t have so many. Because he’s been doing it for years and years and years. tell folks how they can get involved in something like this in not just you directly but to Special Olympics in general. I mean, they go out to the website and whatnot. Is there any pathway that people come up to you and said, I here’s something I did that I really enjoyed. For someone out there listed if they wants to support Dan,

Fred Grau  14:11

there’s their sports all year long for Special Olympics. It’s not just the Summer Games. I mean, they have a Winter Games. I mean, he’s going to be doing snowshoeing and Winter Games in couple of weeks. And he called up a wisp because up the West for Winter Games. I mean, they have spring sports, they have fall sports, they have summer sports. I mean, they have sports all year long. And there’s usually something for somebody to do. I mean, even even people who have disabilities as far as physical disabilities getting around the app sports like Bochy, yep, like bowling it they have all the things too, so very

Danny Grau  14:45

inclusive, very, very, very inclusive.

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:47

I’m sure all these years into it. They’ve gotten really good at it, right? I mean, it really I see the plunge and I marvel at it, you know, there’s just a concept that somebody came up with this thing. We’re all gonna go freeze and jump in the water and be in spired by the way we are the people


Fred Grau  15:01

who are plunging and especially the athletes who who are plunging, including Danny are just a huge, huge inspiration to me because not only their athletes but they’re also raising money for Special Olympics and I mean in their evolve to the environments is amazing. And their characters absolutely amazing. I just get really inspired by

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:24

your character inspires me, Fred, man, I appreciate you, Fred growl his point, Danny, Danny, you’re grown up, right? Given you’re literally I can’t even like give you a hard time like your kidney more. 37 years old, multiple time Special Olympics equestrian winner representing United States of America over in Beijing many years ago. And actually, no, just

Danny Grau  15:47

kidding. Shanghai, Shanghai.

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:48


Yeah, it was Beijing.

Fred Grau  15:50

It was haha. Just kidding. If the following year. The Olympics were in Beijing. I

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:55

went to Beijing, but you went to Shanghai. What the Shanghai I didn’t get to go to Shanghai. Yeah. It’s pretty there. Right. Big buildings, right? Yeah. It’s a little tower going on there. Oh, yeah.

Fred Grau  16:05

It was beautiful there. Yeah,


Nestor J. Aparicio  16:07

I did Beijing with Cal Ripken in October of Oh, seven. It was a demonstration sport baseball in a way right in China. And the bird’s nest and all that.

Fred Grau  16:18

I remember you asking me to correct. Correct. Yeah.

Danny Grau  16:21

Yeah. You someone someone actually pulled a tease on you that that means then. Someone told you it was Beijing. You’ve been teased that I

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:31


just messed up. It’s okay. I was wrong. You know, sometimes I’m allowed to be wrong. Appreciate you. Thanks for coming out. Brother. Danny growl is pop Fred. They’re here on behalf of Special Olympics. Dan. He’s an awesome guy. He plunges a whole bunch of wins. A nothing but a winner and on the equestrian side now. If you see him running like Forrest Gump, he’ll be going up the hill here. You see Danny wave to him and wish him good luck. Special Olympics team USA. We’re here Pappas, I have gotten just as predicted, adjusted. He’s like, I want to bring you food. I want it because they’re Greek. They’re going to send me home with desserts. I’m going to have food for a month when I get out of here and coffee, but I can’t eat while I talk. So I’m going to take a break. I’m going to finish this delicious cup of half and half. It is a cup of soup or bowl it is. It’s crab cake row crabcake tour Special Edition this week. We’re gonna be watching the big game up at Hollywood casino in Perry Ville on Sunday nights. Come on out. My wife and I are gonna be watching that we’re gonna have leftover Maryland scratch off lottery tickets. I have the 10x 10 times the cash we’re giving these way. You guys got you too. You’re old enough that ticket as you want for you like you go mad. Buy me a horse. I’m so afraid of horses. Should I be afraid of horses? Should I get on a horse?

Danny Grau  17:49

Dan? Yes, yes, you should. Should you be afraid? Now, being afraid is only a state of mind. It’s just an afterthought, my friend.

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:59

I love being lectured by. You gotta keep you around a little bit more often. I am Nestor where pap is coming by say hello drop off some canned goods.

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