2011 Special Olympics World Games: Leanna Krogmann
This was my first time as a member of Team USA and also my first trip to Europe. It was very exciting but a very long flight. I was excited to get to travel to Greece and swim in the pool that Michael Phelps swam in at the 2004 Olympic games.
First we went to our host town of Rhodes. It was pretty and easy to get around in compared to Athens. We got to visit Old Town in Rhodes and it had a lot of shops and souvenirs. Rhodes was a lot of fun, but the trip on the ferry to Athens was not fun. It was a 19-hour ferry ride, with not very many beds, but we made it and went to our hotel and changed clothes for the Opening Ceremony. Then, we hopped on a bus and went to the stadium for Opening Ceremonies.
I enjoyed the music at the ceremony and the torch lighting, and of course the Team USA walking into the stadium. After the fireworks and ceremonies ended we burrowed our way through the crowd to our bus and went back to the hotel for a few hours sleep. The swim team had an early morning of competition the next day.
Competition was prelims in the morning and finals in the afternoon. My first day was 100m backstroke prelims. The next day I did the 100m freestyle prelim and the 100m back final in the afternoon. I won a bronze medal in the backstroke on Monday afternoon. Tuesday I swam the 100m freestyle final and I won a 6th place ribbon. After the two days of competition I had 3 days off before my next event. On my first day off Wednesday I spent it with the team and got to do a workout in the outdoor pool. I also got to go and watch the athletics competition. The next day I got to hang out with my parents and sister in Athens near the Acropolis. We took a tram ride around the city and saw a lot of shops and restaurants. We spent the day shopping and eating. We had some sorbet for desert. Then the next day I also was with my family. We went to the Acropolis and walked to the top to see the Parthenon. My sister, Emily, and I went in the Acropolis Museum.
Saturday I had two prelims, the 200 breaststroke and the 4x50m freestyle relay. My family came out to watch me again and we got to go eat the hotdogs at the Olympic Village. They were great! Olympic Village also had a photo booth that I got my picture taken with my coach Jill.
Sunday, I swam two finals. The 200M breaststroke was my first event of the day and I got a bronze medal. Next was the 4x50M relay with Jeannie, Katie and Jennifer. We got GOLD!!! This was the last event for me and it was my favorite.
Closing ceremonies was the last day and we just hung out at the hotel until it was time to go to the stadium. We went to an ice cream social while we were at the hotel to celebrate July 4th. After the social, we changed and went to Closing Ceremonies. I enjoyed the Closing Ceremonies. Then we went back to the hotel to sleep for a few hours before we headed to the airport.
I want to thank the hotel and especially the chef for taking care of us while we were in Athens. The chef made me some special food because I have some food allergies.
I want to thank the Team USA aquatic coaches, especially Jill, for helping me in Athens and on the trip. I also want to thank everyone that supported me with donations and encouragement. It was a great time. Thanks to everyone.