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During the home opener for Harvard men’s water polo against MIT Friday night, fans on both sides wore a myriad of school t-shirts supporting their team. One MIT fan even slipped on a full-body spandex suit for the occasion.
But for Saturday’s game against Brown, both sides shared a common color: pink.
In the first-annual Breast Cancer Awareness Game, athletes from both Harvard and Brown wore customized commemorative swimsuits in an attempt to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research.
“In my memory, I don’t know of any two men’s teams who have had something like this,” Harvard coach Ted Minnis said. “That was my whole thought—I wanted our men to bring awareness to something that does not affect them as much as much as women.”
Members of the women’s water polo team collected donations during the game, and information about the disease was presented over the intercom before the game and during halftime.
For some of the players, the game took on a powerful meaning.
“We have a couple of guys on the team whose parents have had breast cancer,” junior Max Eliot said after the game. “Thankfully, they have all been breast cancer survivors. It’s a great cause and we’re happy to support it.”
Freshman John Holland-McCowan agreed, saying he was proud his team was so willing to support the event.
“My grandmother has cancer and she is suffering from that right now,” Holland-McCoawn said. “It was a personal game for me to feel like we could take a moment, as Harvard water polo, and recognize that there is such a thing going on in the world right now and we can try to make an impact.
“Although it may be small token to the overall problem,” he continued, “I was very proud of our team and of Brown’s team to do this with us.”
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