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Tobin’s take on Healthy Athletes: Team Missouri Arrival Day

SOMO's own Allen Tobin and Lynna Hogdson spoke at a USA Games kickoff event in Orlando Fla., on June 4, 2022.

Hello everyone!

It’s Allen Tobin here, and I’d like to invite you all on my 2022 USA Games Healthy Athletes journey in Orlando, Fla.!

A bit about me first. I’m 50 years old, and I’ve been a part of Special Olympics for more than 25 years. I am a Health Messenger, a Global Messenger and an Athlete Leader. I also play five different sports: softball, flag football, bowling, bocce and sometimes volleyball. I’m from the Kansas City Metro Area.

Throughout the 2022 USA Games, I’ll be posting these nightly recaps with pictures and maybe some videos as well. My goal is to highlight all of our Healthy Athlete stories within Team Missouri.

I arrived on Friday afternoon, and I’m already having a lot of fun – especially this morning. I had the chance to speak to about 100 people at a kickoff event about my Healthy Athlete journey. My fellow Team Missouri teammate Lynna Hodgson also spoke at the prestigious event. It was held at a very fancy hotel called the Caribe Royale. I walked in and just said, “Wow!” It took us ten minutes to go from the main lobby to the convention center!

After our speeches, I came back to our Team Hotel to help welcome the rest of Team Missouri to Orlando! It’s a big experience for me to be on the other side as a staff member as opposed to being an athlete. This is my third USA Games, but it’s my first as a member of staff. I’ve also been to a World Games in Los Angeles.

My advice for our Team Missouri athletes this year is to have fun, do your best. You’re already a winner. You’re already a champion just for being here.

I can’t wait for Opening Ceremonies tomorrow. It’s going to be awesome to see all of the newcomers reactions when they see what goes on at USA Games. I spoke with one of my teammates earlier, and he has NO IDEA what’s coming. He thought it was just going to be a quick thing. He’ll see if that’s true tomorrow! (It’s not). I’m also looking forward to seeing some old friends and creating new friends. I also want to keep sharing pins with different states. So far – I’ve got four pins: Texas, Maryland, South Dakota and Kentucky.

I’ll talk to you all Sunday night!