Team 242 has landed! A delegation of nearly 40 Bahamian Special Olympics World Games athletes, coaches and chaperones arrived in Los Angeles this past Tuesday.
Though tired from the 20-hour trip, they hit the ground running Wednesday with a morning practice, a BBQ lunch and an L.A. Angels of Anaheim baseball game.
Yesterday, after morning practice, they lunched on the lawn at Costa Mesa City Hall, then headed across the street to the Orange County Fair. Having volunteered through the City of Costa Mesa (their host town for the week), I got to accompany the Bahamian delegation to the fair. What a fun afternoon we had!
At the fairgrounds, the group split up by sport. I accompanied the swim team. We wandered around the fairgrounds, playing carnival games, seeing adorable farm animals up close, going on rides and enjoying all sorts of sweet treats (deep-fried Twinkies, anyone?)
Mid-afternoon, we attended a rally celebrating the Special Olympics World Games athletes. About 1,000 of the 7,000+ World Games athletes were in attendance. What an amazing sight to watch each of the 20 or so delegations file in — so much colour and spirit.
By the end of the day, I was exhausted, but not Team 242. Last I saw of them, they were getting ready to head off for an evening of shopping.
Today, all the World Games athletes leave their host cities in preparation for competition. Except for our tennis team, which will stay at UCLA, most of Team Bahamas will stay at USC for the remainder of their trip.
The Special Olympics World Games will kick off tomorrow night with the Opening Ceremonies at the LA Colliseum. Naturally, a group of Bahamians will be there, waving our country colours and cheering on our athletes. I’ve even dug out a couple of cowbells for the occasion. (There are still a few tickets left, if you’d like to join us!)
As of yesterday afternoon, we were still waiting for a schedule of the actual dates and times at which our Bahamian athletes will be competing. I’ll post the details as soon as I receive them.
In the meantime, Go Team Bahamas!