Michael Poll has been a manager and “super-fan” of UWM athletics for over a decade. Starting July 1, Poll will trade his signature sweater-vest for a jersey of his own, competing as an athlete for Team Wisconsin at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle.
And, he’s going to be featured on ESPN2.
ESPN, the broadcast partner for the games, will air a feature story about Poll on July 3 at 5 p.m. on ESPN2. ESPN networks will broadcast the games with coverage beginning around 5 p.m. each day from the opening ceremonies on July 1 through the end of the games on July 7.
The 43-year-old is a die-hard sports fan. He’s helped manage and cheer on every UWM sports team during his time with the Panthers, but his fondness for basketball often leads him courtside at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena for men’s basketball games. UWM athletics gives out an award every year in his name, the Michael Poll Spirit Award, and he even has his own bobblehead.
Poll’s dribbling, rebounding and shooting skills will be put to the test at the 2018 Games; he received an invitation to join the men’s basketball team last year.
He began competing in Special Olympic games in 1985, and during his career has competed in nearly every sport the games have to offer. Those years of multi-sport competition make him one of Team Wisconsin’s most experienced athletes at this year’s games. In addition to competing for Team Wisconsin in the USA Games, Poll has twice competed for Team USA in the World Games.