CHESAPEAKE, Va. - In quite possibly the most extreme version of tug-of-war out there, a local team is the best...and wants to keep it that way.
On Saturday, October 23, a group of Chesapeake Sheriff's deputies will compete in the 2021 Dulles Plane Pull; a mostly-annual (2020 was canceled due to COVID-19) competition put on by and supporting Special Olympics Virginia.
In it, teams of 25 are tasked with pulling a FedEx airplane a distance of 12 feet at Dulles International Airport with the winner doing it in the fastest time.
For the last 12 competitions that team has come from the Chesapeake Sheriff's Office.
Major Chris Pascal has been a part of all of them and has the trophies and championship belts around his office to prove it.
"It's a lot of fun. We're glad that we're able to be so successful at it. We wish some other agencies would get in, some other local agencies," he said, adding, "We like to knock off as many people as possible."
For the past couple months, Pascal and 24 other deputies have been training in the hopes of winning their 13th straight title.
Training involves pulling a fire engine fully loaded with water. It weighs about 70,000 pounds — less than half of the 170,000 pound plane they'll be pulling later this month.
But it's all worth it. Pascal says he loves supporting Special Olympics, a cause extremely close to the Chesapeake Sheriff's Office.
"[The athletes] just like us, they compete like us. As a matter of fact, some are probably more competitive than we could be," he tells News 3.
Pascal says some of those athletes will be watching October 23.
Ahead of the competition, the Chesapeake Sheriff's Office says it has raised $7,500 — well above the $2,500 required minimum.
According to the Dulles Plane Pull webpage, total donations are over $100,000.