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Lynna’s Log: State Outdoor Games 2022

Lynna Hodgson And Larry Linthacum

JEFFERSON CITY – Special Olympics Missouri athlete Lynna Hodgson shared her experience at the 2022 State Outdoor Games in her blog below and at the following link!

“I met up with my main coach at the meeting spot. We waited for everyone who is going to ride with us. We left the parking lot around 4 p.m. 

We got to Capitol Plaza hotel at 6:30 p.m., and we got into our rooms and had pizza for dinner. We visited and waited for another person to come, a Unified partner for bocce. We all visited for awhile and then went back into our rooms. I saw a few people and said hello. Asked coach what time do we need to get up, so I can set my alarm. Tomorrow is bocce day. So, I’ll be watching bocce and taking some pictures there.  

Friday morning was an early one, but I was excited and ready for it! Got dressed and got my stuff ready for the day. We wouldn’t come back to the hotel until everyone was done with the competition. When we got to the venue, I told my coach (main coach) what I’m going to do. I went to find Andrew (he is the marketing and communications director for SOMO). He gave me the camera I’m going to use for the weekend. I asked him a few questions, such as: what kind of shots does he want, and where can I stand, I didn’t want to be in the way. He also told me where to upload the pictures I took over the weekend. I was excited to take pictures for them, (plus I love the camera I used)! After the Lee’s Summit team was done…it took a long time for one of our athletes to finish her competition. We had sack lunches. We packed up from the venue after the last athlete competed and got her medal. We all drove to the ice cream shop. This is a tradition for us. We always go there after bocce tournament. I had cookies and cream ice cream (go figure!) I was ready to buy it, and to my surprise coach Aaron paid for it! Thank you Coach Aaron! We all got to freshen up and met up in our meeting spot, and we all traveled to the softball venue. That is where the Opening Ceremony took place. For dinner, we had Chick-Fil-A. It was yummy! Before the start of the Opening Ceremony, Team MO gathered and talked about what we are going to do. Team MO declared the games are open! After every team was announced, the fireworks started! They were awesome! The Lincoln University marching band came by and showed us a show! A lot of athletes enjoyed the music. The CEO of SOMO was there, as was the last CEO. It was so good to see her! One of my friend, Anna, spoke to the crowd about her involvement, as she is the new member of board of directories on SOMO. Once everything was over and we said goodbyes, we gathered and went back to the hotel. Man I was really tired!  

On Saturday, woke up early again and had breakfast at TLC, had team MO breakfast and got a surprise video from the USA games and a letter that said Team MO has 

A day! Took one last team MO group picture. So that was pretty special, then we went to the venue for softball, (which where was the opening ceremony was at). I got my camera ready and met up with Kayla (the other PR person) it was really good to see her! She gave me a big hug. Lee’s Summit Thunder played very well and got 2nd place! I really enjoyed seeing them play! I got great photos today, not just of Lee’s Summit, but from different teams. After the competition and everyone received their medals, we all had a team meeting and went back to the hotel and got ready to get our dancing shoes on! We all met up at our meeting place. Once we all arrived at the meeting spot, we all rode in our vans and went to the TLC. I went through Healthy Athletes. Another teammate went to Opening Eyes. I got a free pair of glasses. So I’m excited to get them in the mail. After I went through that, I went to have dinner. We had BBQ. My team already ate, so I ate my food once of the coaches stayed with me so I can eat. I went outside (that’s where the dance is held) I saw a lot of athletes having a great time! That makes my heart so happy! I got a few pictures because I wanted to join the fun as well! At the same time as the dance was going on, Bingo was happening, so I went back in the building of TLC and watched and got some pictures of bingo, a lot of people went to bingo! I heard a lot of BINGO’s! While I was dancing I saw Kayla, I finally got to met her son. I wanted to meet him for a long time, and I also met her sister, they look a like! I also met her husband. It was a fun evening! We all went back to the hotel and got ready for bed. I started to pack up before we left for dinner. So I really didn’t have to pack that much.  

On Sunday. We got up and went to breakfast together, except for one athlete because he competed in flag football this morning. We all visited and ate breakfast and got all of our belongings and packed up the vans to go. We returned our room keys and drove to the flag football venue. For the last time for the weekend, I got the camera out, it was amazing to watch flag football! Every team did very well! I even saw some of my friends competed! Got good photos and saw the PR team and my co-workers when I worked for SOMO. So that was nice to catch up with them! Throughout the weekend an SOMO staff would pass out a Sportsman-chip coin. That’s when an athlete does a sportsman likes act. And a lot of coins went out this past weekend. One of my friends received one when he competed in flag football. Once flag football games was done, I said goodbye to everyone and gave the camera back to Kayla. I told her that I uploaded all of the pictures I took, the pictures I didn’t upload was the ones I took at the flag football. After I turned the camera in, I went back to my team, and said congratulations to TJ on his medal. We took a team picture! Then we drove to somewhere to eat, before we leave Jeff’s City. We went to Freddy’s. After we all ate, we got back into the vans and started to drive back to Lee’s Summit. I slept all the way back. I guess I was tired lol  

It’s sad to know this state games might be my last state competition for SOMO. As my family is moving in the Spring to Iowa. If I qualified in bowling or basketball (or both) then I’ll get to go in the indoor games (which will be March 2023). 

Please enjoy the pictures. I would like to say a BIG thank you to ALL of the SOMO staff, ALL SOMO coaches, volunteers, venues, families and friends and for my main coach for letting me tagging along this past weekend!”