Thursday, June 30, 2011

OAKA, Olympic Village and The Ringer!!!

June 30, 2011
Today we had a late start due to a webinar going on . We left the hotel at 10 to head to OAKA again to watch the athletes participate in their events. We went to track and field first with our friends from Montana, Tanealya and Tammy. We were able to watch their athlete Anton compete in his decatholon long jump. He did a great job and it was great to get to watch the USA compete. Alli and Jordan were able to interview a few more athletes while we were there, one was from Montana and the others were from the Netherlands. We went to power lifting next but unfortunately the event was cancelled for the day. We went to aquatics next and were so excited that we got to watch 3 USA athletes compete in the 25 yard backstroke!! They did a great job and we are so proud of them.  We went back to Olympic village to have lunch with our group. We had pizza and Greek salad.
After lunch we were able to go and tour the Healthy Athletes program at the Helexpo venue. The Healthy Athletes program is amazing and we are hoping that we see more of it in Illinois. Healthy Athletes allows athletes to go through free screenings for their feet, hearing, sight, overall fitness and their teeth. After they are evaluated, they have the opportunity to get free glasses if needed and if they have issues in any of the other areas, they are given doctor recommendations in their own country/state. It was an incredible program to see and we were glad to have the tour. As of today, they had helped over 7,000 athletes in just five short days!!
After the tour, we headed back to our hotel to rest and then get ready for dinner. Tonight we had dinner with regional staff and presidents. We were able to meet some great people from North Carolina. Unfortunately, the Illinois president could not make it but there was a very special guest in attendance…Brady Lum, the president and COO of Special Olympics International. It was great to hear him speak and it was nice of him to take time out of his busy schedule to have dinner with us!
When dinner was finished, we headed up to a meeting room for a special screening of “The Ringer” which is a movie starring Eddie Barbanell and Johnny Knoxville about Special Olympics. It is a really great movie and our youth had the opportunity to watch it tonight with Eddie Barbanell!! Eddie is great and is a really good speaker. He got everyone pysched for the movie. This event was sponsored by our friends at Mattel!!
Another great day in Greece…can’t wait for tomorrow!!
                               Alli, Jordan and Tanealya with the athlete from Montana they interviewed at track.
                                                   Track venue
                                             Team USA swimmers!
 Alli and Kim posing with Barbie in the Mattel tent in Olympic Village
 Healthy athletes venue
 Getting a tour of healthy athletes!
 Brady Lum at dinner
 Eddie introducing the movie "The Ringer"
Jordan and Eddie after the movie when Eddie signed his DVD.

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