Meet the Athlete who Inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge

The Ice Bucket Challenge has hit the sports world. Just this weekend, the Los Angeles Lakers had Kobe submerge himself in a tub of ice. LeBron did his challenge on board a private yacht because of course he did.  And NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell made a point of donating to ALS research in addition to dousing himself with ice.

This month when you get sports tickets, there’s a good chance that someone on or off the field will be completing the challenge during the game. The movement has swept the country, but do you know the man who inspired this challenge?

It’s was inspired by a baseball player, but not the one you might think. Yes,  New York Yankee legend Lou Gehrig is the most famous athlete impacted by ALS, but the ice bucket challenge was started by Boston native and a Red Sox fan.

Meet Pete Frates, a 29-year-old former Boston College baseball star. Frates was diagnosed with ALS in 2012 and has spent the last two years working to raise awareness for the disease. The first ice-bucket video began with 100 tweets on July 15. Pete then posted his own video on August 4 completed on the field at Fenway Park. Two of Frates college teammates and friends, the Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan and Brian Boyle of the Tampa Bay Lighting helped jump start the viral craze.

There have since been millions of videos and even more conversation. One month into the challenge, there were 15 million people on Facebook who have posted about, commented or liked a post related to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. More than 1.2 million videos were posted just to Facebook. Twitter had another 2.2 million mentions since July 29.

The viral phenomenon has resulted in significant donations. Tanks to the ice bucket challenge, there have been 146,000 new donors and $7.6 million donated to ALS research, up 766% from the $1.4 million that was donated during this time in 2013.

So how did one man start a whole movement? Watch his story here:

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