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’18 Team Missouri: Allison D’Agostino (Days 1-2)

These posts come from our first-ever athlete-leader PR assistant, Allison D’Agostino. They were originally posted on her personal blog and re-posted here with her permission. They are unedited.

D'Agostino, Allison_StaffDay 1: FUN!
Sometimes, people ask me what I’ll be doing in Seattle. It excites me when that happens, because I can then tell them that I’m an athlete in Special Olympics. The weird thing is, that’s not the first thing that comes out of my mouth. It’s more like, “I am going to Seattle to be a PR Assistant at the USA Games, our nationals.” I didn’t improve my answer up until a month ago. But hey, I’m here now and having a lot of fun.

For MO Magic, aka Team Missouri, our Kansas City send off was definitely new to me. Well, to be honest, everything but my PR skills is new to me. We explored the location of Pro Athlete, Inc., which was where our send off party located.

Each team sport had a chance of playing baseball in their ball pit, play games in the game room, write our names on the Pro Athlete, Inc. wall, fix our hair for the Opening Ceremony with either hair dye (purple, pink, or both) or hair extensions (same color options), as well as eat lunch before we head off to the airport. The athletes didn’t go to bed until 9:30pm at the latest. For coaches and staff, probably 11pm. I’m including those who actually put in money to get everyone here.

Today was all about fun, relaxation, and walking. Lots and lots of walking. I knew my lack of physical training would shame me, but I didn’t think it to be so soon. Luckily, I came prepared. I brought better socks and moleskin. I just hope I use the moleskin correctly.

Anywho, I followed the Bocce team for the first hour or two. It somehow switched to the track and field team. It was worth the switch. We walked all around the fish market and saw the Gum Wall. Most of them put gum on. I didn’t however. As much as it looked really cool, I find it disgusting and unsanitary. I even asked the coach to use some of the hand sanitizer he passed around. Haha.

Our lunch was at a Mexican restaurant. I forgot the name of it. I think it was Par Paricio or something like that. My favorite part was when one of the coaches told the waiter his name. I think the waiter misheard, cause the next thing I heard from our waiter was Captain Kirk. Hahaha! It’s so stuck in my head that I’ll most likely call him Captain Kirk while we’re in Seattle.

It came to the point where we had to reach Argosy Cruise. All of MO Magic would experience an hour tour around the bay. It was a good thing it wasn’t a three hour tour. And it’s okay if you don’t understand the pun I made there. Not a lot of people do.

The tour was a blast. One of the athletes from baseball – I’ve been getting to know him ever since we bumped into each other at the souvenir shop near Argosy Cruise. On the tour, he and I kept making jokes and each bought a Shirley Temple. No cherry for him, even though that’s the best part.

I am definitely going to like it here.

Day 2: Opening Ceremony
Today was quite the day, and probably the last relaxing day for me – as everything will be quick-paced and all over the place. Today, we had the Opening Ceremony for Special Olympics USA Games 2018.

This is the fiftieth anniversary of Special Olympics entirely. It wasn’t surprising to have a short memorial of the woman who started it all. Eunice Kennedy Shriver, bless her soul, did her best and made the bravest move by creating Special Olympics. Fifty years later, the athletes, coaches, Unified Partners, volunteers, and staff members have grown in numbers, bravery, and humble.

In fact, several athletes I know are here. I make sure I sit by them as often as I can, since I most likely might not see them close up when they’re competing. They have changed for the better. Seattle is in for a surprise when they meet Team Missouri – MO Magic.

At the ceremony, multiple celebrities were there, from WWE to Allen Stone, and even employees from the international or national Special Olympics. I’m impressed how many people talked. Heck, even one of our own coaches was on stage.

It turns out Bea Webb has been a coach for forty years, and a legal guardian to one of my SOMO TV friends Arthur Murphy. She mentioned a few things about him. The turning point of all this was when the speaker with her said there was a video for her and everyone to watch. It happened to be Arthur Murphy saying how grateful and proud he was of her. It definitely brought a few tears to my eyes.

The ceremony ended with our famous torch being lit by almost every speaker we saw today. It was a little difficult to find where they jogged, but thankfully there was a big screen for us to view them.

Oh, and I can’t forget the music. That definitely made it more fun, as I used my blue-ribboned stick to my fellow friends. I sang and danced to pretty much all the songs that played. You can find who performed right here. I will never forget today’s ceremony – or this week!