Day 1 in Korea:
The 2013 PyeongChang World Winter Games are officially opened and with beautiful flash and style. Our athletes were all dressed up in there “Team USA” uniforms and all were excited about getting competitions underway. Many foreign dignitaries and business and civil leaders were present at the Opening Ceremonies including the President of the Republic and his wife. The ceremonies were commenced with the Parade of Athletes which consisted of more than 2,300 athletes from 111 countries. The parade was followed by light shows, dancers in brightly colored wonderful costumes, entertainers who sang and danced, and a Dream Chorus that consisted of people with and without intellectual disabilities coming together to make beautiful music.
Athletes are participating in Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing, Figure Skating, Short Trace Speed Skating and Floor Hockey/Floorball. All athletes were on their respective courses today for the first time. We were at the Athlete Evaluations for the Alpine Skiing competitions and there were smiles all around. My heart soared every time I watched an athlete complete their run down the slopes. Their faces glowed with pride and the smiles were beaming with the satisfaction of accomplishment. “I did it,” “I did it!” words repeated over and over. Tomorrow starts the competitions and all are excited and ready for the challenge.
Day 2 in Korea:
Today was to have been the finals in the Alpine Skiing Giant Slalom but the rain did not cooperate. Events in Alpine Skiing, Snowboarding, Cross-Country and Snowboarding have been canceled for today. All of those athletes are getting a day off and some are headed to the “Healthy Athletes” program. This event provides checkups in six categories: eyes, oral, hearing, nutritional health, flexibility and feet. Other athletes are able to have some down time to just relax, because their schedules since they arrived in South Korea has been very busy; others are watching movies or visiting some of the local shops for souvenirs and others were able to watch their teammates compete in Short Track Speed Skating. Competitions should resume tomorrow, but at this time, no new schedules have been worked out. The athletes are anxious to get back to competing.
The Snowboarding Advanced Giant Slalom Event was January 31st and the following athletes competed and earned recognition of their skills: #65 Daina M. Shilts, Division F1, won a Silver Medal; #64 Henry Meece, Division M2, placed 6th. In Division M3, #62 Cody Field, won a Gold Medal and #63 Michael Chase Lodder, won a Silver Medal. The Short Track Speed Skating, 500 Meter, was run February 1st, but results had not been reported at the time of this posting. Congratulations Team USA!!
Come on back to Coca-Cola Unbottled next week for more updates from Paige and be sure to send your good luck wishes in the comments below. We’ll be sure to send them her way. For additional Special Olympics stories, visit our corporate website at Coca-Cola Journey or read about the Special Olympics exhibit at the World of Coca-Cola in a separate blog post.