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’18 Team Missouri: Rachel Hanson (Final posts of USA Games)

Antal, RachelClosing the Space Needle
Last full day of the games here in Seattle. It is very bittersweet. I’m of course ready to get home and see my husband but this is also one of the best weeks ever. There is no experience like that USA Games. This morning started out with swimming. I made sure to get there early to catch a bus because the venue is 45 minutes away. It took us an hour and a half almost to get there. Unfortunately I didn’t make it in time to watch the swimmers to get their awards. They started out the morning with a parade of volunteer which was really neat. Then they played some music to get the athletes and crowd excited. Everyone did the YMCA and I mean everyone in that Aquatic Center. This one official did it and he got really into it. Our first swimmers were the 4 x 100 medley relay. They finished 4th. Devin swam the 50m backstroke and got 2nd. Jessica swam the 50m backstroke as well. Curtis swam the 25m breaststroke. After swimming, I was going to grab the bus to head back to the dorm but I guess there was an accident on the interstate so a bus was going to be 80 minutes. I went back inside and got a pretzel with cheese to make sure I would have some lunch. The bus came a little while later. Thankfully not 80 minutes later.

I ran by the dining hall quick and got a cup full of strawberries and headed over to the ball park stadium for tennis awards. I made it in time. It was getting pretty warm by that point and sitting on the astroterf wasn’t very comfortable. The boys got their awards and were on cloud 9. I headed back to the dorm and started getting my stuff packed up to leave in the morning. We had to eat early before we left for closing ceremonies. We had a quick coaches meeting. Then we went in front of the dorm to wait for the buses to take us to closing ceremonies.

The closing ceremonies were at a park near the space needle and right next to the water. It was really cool. Everyine began their trading frenzy. On the last day, you can trade whatever wardrobe you dont want to keep. I decided to trade one of my polos. I found Hawaii and was able to trade for a bright green shirt. I was pretty excited. We did lots of pin trading. The Amazon band played. The flag was passed to Florida since theyre the host of the next USA Games in 2022. It was very casual and people just got to walk around and hang out. We. Took a group photo in front of the big rise with us letters. One more show me show me show me. Then we headed back to campus. I got started on my last work of the games. It’s been a blast!

Last post of the games
I can’t believe this is my last post of the games. The time went so quick but at the same time, I felt like we really got to enjoy it. The KC crew was up and ready at the bus by 7 a.m. The STL crew though didn’t have to be ready to leave until 9. I got up and finished packing. Then I went down and ate breakfast with the people who were left. Definitely a lot calmer than it had been all week. After breakfast, we started carrying bags out to wait for the bus. It came and we loaded to head to the airport. At the airport, they had a specific line for us to go through which made it go faster. I didn’t have to bring the big camera bag because it went back with Brandon so I got to go through security a little bit faster this time. I got some Starbucks once we got to our seating area. I had to use the discount once last time. I got a scone so that I would have something to eat since our flight was leaving during lunch time. It was finally time to board and we got to get on first. I started feeling sick so I was really worried it was going to be a long flight. I fell asleep for a bit and when I woke up, I was feeling way better. I watched a movie the rest of the way and feel back asleep occasionally. Everyone was more than ready to get off once we landed. The airlines welcomed us home and we did one more Show Me, Show Me, Show Me cheer. When we got off the plane, we headed to baggage claim. Before we even got there, we could hear our cheer. A good number of family and friends awaited us. I ran to Derrick once I saw him. The coaches and I helped everyone get their bags. Then we headed for home. We stopped and some delicious Fazolis. On the drive home, fireworks were going off all over the place. Made for a pretty drive. We made it home about 11 p.m. Luna greeted me then gave me the cold shoulder to make up for being gone for so long. I suppose that is fair haha. It feels so great to be home.

Here are my top 10 moments from the games:

1. Getting to walk to the stadium with all the volunteers lined up on the sides cheering for us.

2. Riding in a line of police cars to the airport and having the interstate shut down for us.

3. Seattle’s weather. So beautiful and hardly any humidity.

4. Getting to see the Space Needle the rest of city in our view almost every day.

5. Watching the athletes get their medals and seeing their expressions was priceless.

6. Getting to be on ESPN, even if it was only for a few seconds.

7. Getting to meet Detlef Schrempf and Gary Payton, NBA legends!

8. Getting to take a cruise of the harbor with the entire team.

9. Watching Missouri play vs Alaska in the gold medal Basketball game. So much support and sportsmanship.

10. Watching the athletes have the time of their lives every second of every day. They made memories to last a lifetime.

It was the best time and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I hope you enjoyed following along with me this week!