2018 Team Missouri Newsletter: Day 5 (FINAL) of Competition

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July 6, 2018

Team MO Magic Newsletter

As always, be sure to check out our Facebook and Flickr pages where you can view all of the photos we take throughout the week. Also, follow us on our social media channels (links at the bottom of this newsletter). If you like what you see with MO Magic and would like to continue to support them, please donate now: https://somo.org/2018-usa-games-donations 

Below you will find a short recap of each team for the day. Friday was the final day of competition for our athletes. Most competition wrapped up on Thursday and those athletes received their awards on Friday.

Powerlifting
Jody Davis and Brandon Mize had to wait until the final day of the week to compete, but in the end they still put on a great show. Jody started the morning off by winning a silver medal in the squat and followed that up with a gold in deadlift, a bronze in the bench press and another silver in the overall combination. She set two new personal records (squat and benchpress).

Brandon also set two new personal records today (squat and deadlift) and won three golds (deadlift, squat and combination) and one silver (bench press). He broke 507 total kg, which is his best ever in a competition.

Swimming
The swimmers were one of the few groups of athletes who didn’t get a break this week, spending every single day at the venue. In addition to a handful of the athletes receiving their awards, the following competed for the final time on Friday:

  • The 4×100 M relay (Libby Waddell, Joel Chrouser, Logan Hulett and Ali Byrd) won silver
  • Devin Bock, in the 50 M backstroke, was awarded 4th place
  • Jessica Grammer, also in the 50 M backstroke, was awarded 4th place
  • Curtis Herbold, in the 25 M breaststroke, won gold

Tennis
Singles competition ended on Friday for Lucas Blattel and Kris Greene. Lucas won a silver medal and Kris won a bronze medal. Coach Ashley Wurst said this was the best she’s ever seen Lucas play. “He had a lot of consistent shots and made the right adjustments we’ve been working on all week,” she said. For Kris, she said that, “He hit some beautiful ground strokes and had lots of long ralleys. He showed improvement all week.”

The section below shows which delegates have been writing blogs for us. These are new blogs written on Friday night to recap that day and previous day’s activities. To view all blogs written earlier this week, visit our WordPress site.

With the addition of an athlete-leader on our Team Missouri staff, we wanted to utilize Allison’s skillset and try something new. So we’re excited to announce Allison’s FIFTH recap show, which you can view here. On Friday night, she catches up with all of the sports we’ve missed during the week: golf, powerlifting, softball and tennis.

We want to thank everyone who followed Team Missouri this past week. It truly was a phenomenal experience and we couldn’t have done it without the support of those who came to cheer us on as well as those who cheered from afar.

We will send out another FINAL newsletter or two with some last tidbits of information here and there. As your athletes come back home, let us know if you have any other stories that we missed or if you want to write a blog about your experience either in Seattle as a delgate or a fan.

TEAM MISSOURI APP

Whether you will watch Team Missouri athletes compete in Seattle or you just want to follow their progress from afar, the Team Missouri mobile app has features to enhance your experience cheering them on:

  • Schedules
  • Newsletters/updates on daily competitions
  • Maps/directions
  • Communicate with other parents/coaches
  • Photo gallery
  • Alerts from SOMO
  • SO MUCH MORE!

Check out this video tutorial on downloading and using the app.

There are two ways to download our app:

  1. Open the app store on your mobile device and search ‘Whova.’ Once Whova is downloaded, open that app and search ‘Team Missouri’ or ‘USA Games’ and select ‘2018 USA Games: Team Missouri’ and you’re good to go.
  2. Scan the QR code in the poster below to take you directly there

We will also be sending out nightly newsletters updating you on the progress of Team Missouri. Those newsletters will be emailed AND posted to the mobile app. If you want to receive the newsletters, but don’t want to sign up for the mobile app, please click here (if you received this email, you’re already signed up). The best way to stay up-to-date as competitions are going on, however, is to download the app and receive real-time alerts from Seattle!

We are still working on adding a few things here and there, so make sure you check back in near the end of June to get the full experience.

Whova 2018 Team Mo app

 

 

TEAM MISSOURI DELEGATION STAFFING

Management Team

Susan Shaffer — Head of Delegation

shaffer@somo.org 573-635-1660 or 573-489-4778

 

Brandon Schatsiek — Public Relations Manager

schatsiek@somo.org 573-635-1660 OR 573-821-4646

 

Support Staff

Jana Fornelli — GOC/SONA Family Liaison

fornelli@somo.org 417-624-5505

 

Laurie Shadoan — Fundraising

shadoan@somo.org 913-789-0353

 

Mandi Ballinger – Sendoff & Fundraising Websites

ballinger@somo.org 913-789-0338

 

 

 

            

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’18 Team Missouri: Lynna Hodgson (FINAL Day of Competition)

These posts come from track and field athlete Lynna Hodgson. They were originally posted on her personal blog and re-posted here with her permission. They are unedited.

So I woke up at 5:30am. Today Shaquana and I compete in shot put. That’s our last event for the whole games. The relay competes today. I’m excited to watch them. We are at the track and Dustin is the first one to compete, he is the first one to compete today, he will be doing the mini javelin. It’s 4:21pm. I feel like I did a really good job with my shot put. I got 2nd place!! I threw it 6 meters!! I just got my award for the 200 meter run and I got bronze!! Tonight we are watching the Seattle Mariners vs Los Angels! I got Nebraska pin, I need one more, then I’m done!

2018 Team Missouri Newsletter: Day 4 of Competition

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Team MO Magic Newsletter

As always, be sure to check out our Facebook and Flickr pages where you can view all of the photos we take throughout the week. Also, follow us on our social media channels (links at the bottom of this newsletter). If you like what you see with MO Magic and would like to continue to support them, please donate now: https://somo.org/2018-usa-games-donations 

Below you will find a short recap of each team for the day. For a full detailed schedule for each sport on Thursday, download the mobile app.

Basketball
Team Missouri faced off against Alaska with the gold medal on the line on Thursday afternoon at Seattle University. Earlier this week, Team Missouri beat Alaska by five points. In keeping with the tradition all week of playing some intensely-close games, it was a one-possession game the whole way until Alaska pulled away in the final minute to win 29-23.

Coach Kris Clark said the pre-game message was to leave it all out on the court and play with their heart. “We’re a family now on,” he said.

They’ll be awarded the silver medal on Friday.

Bowling
All bowlers competed in Unified doubles on Thursday. Awards are as follows:

  • Amanda Geno and Kayla Brewer won gold
  • Erica Koenegstein and Alaina Toliver won silver
  • Tyler Busken and Brandon Mynatt were awarded 4th place
  • Jeremiah Ellis and Trey Toliver won gold

Trey Toliver bowled 84 in transition and with a speed adjustment bowled 202 in the following game. Jeremiah Ellis bowled a clean game (no open frames). Kayla Brewer bowled a huge score of 140 to secure a silver medal in her division. Jeremiah Ellis secured his third gold mdeal of the week on Thursday.

Golf
All of the golfers received their awards on Thursday. John Hughes and Mike Garrison, Doug and Cade Marian, and Jerry and Nick McMullen all received silver medals on the big stage down at the Fan Zone. Thomas Cleek, since he was in the championship high performance division, was awarded his fourth place ribbon in downtown Seattle by LPGA Pro I.K. Kim.

Powerlifting
TJ Bray was the only powerlifter to compete on Thursday. In the squat he received the gold medal for lifting 319 pounds. In the deadlift, his best lift was 386 pounds, which was good enough for the silver medal. He didn’t complete a lift in the benchpress, so he therefore didn’t qualify for a medal in the combination. He received a participation ribbon in the benchpress and in combination.

Softball
The softball team brought home the silver medal in regulation softball on Thursday. Their first game was against a Washington team full of heart. MO Magic hit well throughout the game and won 20-0. More importantly, MO Magic displayed phenomenal sportsmanship by cheering for Washington’s athletes and did their part to not run up the score.

In the gold medal match, South Dakota got off to a quick start and never looked back. MO Magic again displayed character and began chipping away at the deficit. In the end MO Magic came up short and earned the silver medal, losing 22-7. Although it was a tough loss for the team, MO Magic’s fan club made it much easier to bear with their continued cheers and positive reinforcement.

Swimming
Only three swimmers competed on Thursday with the following results:

  • Joel Chrouser won silver in the 400 freestyle
  • Ali Byrd was awarded sixth place in the 400 freestyle
  • Devin Bock won gold in the 50 freestyle

Tennis
It’s been a really competitive and tough week for the tennis players so far, but Thursday was the day they finally broke through.

  • Kris Greene and Jeremy Clayton won bronze in Unified doubles vs. Maryland
  • Simon Caldwell and Lucas Blattel won gold in traditional doubles vs. Ohio
  • Kris Greene played his first singles match and split the first two sets only to drop the tiebreaker vs. Ohio. He plays again on Friday in the medal round.
  • Simon Caldwell won bronze vs. New Jersey in a really close match, 7-5, 6-4.


Track & Field
Thursday’s results are as follows:

  • Dustin Johnson won bronze in mini javelin
  • Shaquana Hobbs won gold in shotput
  • Lynna Hodgson won silver in shotput
  • The 4×100 M relay (Brett Harper, Mary McManus, Dustin Johnson and Mark Harris) was in the highest division possible and took fifth place
  • Mary McManus won silver in the 400 M run

The section below shows what delegates have been writing blogs for us. These are new blogs written on Wednesday night to recap that day and previous day’s activities. To view all blogs written earlier this week, visit our WordPress site.

With the addition of an athlete-leader on our Team Missouri staff, we wanted to utilize Allison’s skillset and try something new. So we’re excited to announce Allison’s FOURTH recap show, which you can view here. On Thursday night, she talked to the basketball team about the fun they’ve been having this week and recapping their gold-medal game vs. Alaska.

Only ONE more day of competition (swimming, tennis and powerlifting), while track and field, bocce and basketball all receive their medals tomorrow.

Again, the best way to stay up to date and view the next day’s schedule is to download the Team Missouri mobile app. For more info on the app, see below.

TEAM MISSOURI APP

Whether you will watch Team Missouri athletes compete in Seattle or you just want to follow their progress from afar, the Team Missouri mobile app has features to enhance your experience cheering them on:

  • Schedules
  • Newsletters/updates on daily competitions
  • Maps/directions
  • Communicate with other parents/coaches
  • Photo gallery
  • Alerts from SOMO
  • SO MUCH MORE!

Check out this video tutorial on downloading and using the app.

There are two ways to download our app:

  1. Open the app store on your mobile device and search ‘Whova.’ Once Whova is downloaded, open that app and search ‘Team Missouri’ or ‘USA Games’ and select ‘2018 USA Games: Team Missouri’ and you’re good to go.
  2. Scan the QR code in the poster below to take you directly there

We will also be sending out nightly newsletters updating you on the progress of Team Missouri. Those newsletters will be emailed AND posted to the mobile app. If you want to receive the newsletters, but don’t want to sign up for the mobile app, please click here (if you received this email, you’re already signed up). The best way to stay up-to-date as competitions are going on, however, is to download the app and receive real-time alerts from Seattle!

We are still working on adding a few things here and there, so make sure you check back in near the end of June to get the full experience.

Whova 2018 Team Mo app

 

 

TEAM MISSOURI DELEGATION STAFFING

Management Team

Susan Shaffer — Head of Delegation

shaffer@somo.org 573-635-1660 or 573-489-4778

 

Brandon Schatsiek — Public Relations Manager

schatsiek@somo.org 573-635-1660 OR 573-821-4646

 

Support Staff

Jana Fornelli — GOC/SONA Family Liaison

fornelli@somo.org 417-624-5505

 

Laurie Shadoan — Fundraising

shadoan@somo.org 913-789-0353

 

Mandi Ballinger – Sendoff & Fundraising Websites

ballinger@somo.org 913-789-0338

 

 

 

            

’18 Team Missouri: SOMO supporter volunteers at USA Games

This story comes from our first-ever athlete-leader PR assistant, Allison D’Agostino.

Audrey Verret is a genuine person as any person could be – should be. She puts others before herself. She makes certain the person(s) she’s with feels safe and comfortable. Verret will do anything for Special Olympics and its athletes, even the Missouri program. Most people in Missouri like to call that Special Olympics Missouri.

It’s difficult to put in words on how generous and caring she is. Verret has been involved with Special Olympics for eleven years now, as long as this writer has been an athlete. She loves to familiarize whoever she joins in conversation.

So far, USA Games 2018 is her current favorite. With World Games, it’s a unified umbrella, as she so eloquently pointed out.

“That’s magic in itself, but this is home pride,” said Verret. “It is an entire nation – again – unifying in a platform like this.” As the crowd of friends and families of Special Olympics athletes stand on the field behind her and the interviewer, she clearly feels at home. One would imagine she wouldn’t want to leave. Special Olympics is one huge family, quirks and all.

Ironically, the theme of this year’s USA Games is unity. The 50th anniversary since Eunice Kennedy Shriver created a local event for children with intellectual disabilities. She brought them together and formed something that would be so big, everyone will remember what she did and thank her.

She didn’t create just a local event. She started a family. One that even those without intellectual disabilities would want to join and be a part of it – unified. Audrey Verret, articulate as she is, expressed how it felt like a family to her.

“Special Olympics is more than just something I put my time on,” Verret started. “It’s more than – just something that I get to promote or that I get to be a part of. It’s more than just a community. It’s a family for me. It’s become a family for me. To be part of said family makes my heart feel whole.” It was the joy and culture of inclusion that convinced her to join Special Olympics those eleven years ago.

The staff, coaches, and athletes thank you, Audrey Verret, for becoming a member in a huge community what most of those call a family.

’18 Team Missouri: Youth Leadership Experience

We are enjoying our time here with team Missouri at the 2018 USA Games. We are a part of the youth leadership experience which gives youth around the country the opportunity to learn leadership skills through different experiences with the games. On Monday, we got to do some story reporting on our teams as well as spectators, sponsors and various other people around the games. On Tuesday, we learned about unified sports and how unified teams are evaluated at the games. We also learned about how unified sports can be used in a college setting. Lauren learned some tools to take back to start unified sports as a part of her intramural in college. Wednesday, we spent shadowing our swimming team in the morning. In the afternoon we had the opportunity to shadow Heather Harmer, who is in charge of the healthy athlete program for USA Games. The girls really enjoyed getting some background information on healthy athletes and how it works! On Thursday, we were able to spend the whole day immersed in the young athlete program which was exhausting but so much fun!

We spent the evenings enjoying different activities with team Missouri like the Family Fourth. We have had some awesome opportunities to meet people like Tim Shriver, Ray Roberts, several staff from SONA and SOI and Lauren Potter (from Glee). Piper has really enjoyed meeting all the other state delegations and trading her Mo Magic pins!

The girls are having a blast and gaining lots of experiences that will give them tools to promote inclusion in their communities when they go home! Luckily, we have also had the chance to be spectators for team Missouri. So far, we’ve had the chance to watch track, bocce, powerlifting and basketball. We are so excited to be a part of Team Missouri. Go Mo Magic!

’18 Team Missouri: Jessica Grammer (Visiting Mt. Rainier)

Grammer, Jess_SwimmingJessica Grammer is a swimming athlete from Steelville, Mo. She wrote this blog after visiting Mt. Rainier with her family. It is unedited.

Today I had the opportunity to go hang out with my family. Needless to say, I was very excited. I began texting my dad at 5:20am asking when he was coming to get me. It was in one of his texts back to me that he told me we were taking a picnic lunch up to Mt. Rainier. Now I was super excited!

My whole family came and picked me up from the swimming pool at 8:00am. I was a little disappointed because they did not bring my Service Dog Tank, but I was happy to see everyone else.

We started our two hour long climb up the mountain. Again, I was a bit disappointed because I wanted to hike it not drive it. but I really wanted to see the mountain and so I just sat back and let my Aunt Angie do the driving.

My aunt is a crazy driver and driving up a mountain brought that out even more. I was glad I was in the backseat looking out the windows at all the beautiful scenery. the road was winding and the huge trees at the beginning seemed to shrink the higher we went. but the trees were all so beautiful and green. Even the trees that did not have any bark on them looked like columns of silver. And them we turned a corner and I saw Mt. Rainier! The top was covered with white snow that was melting and running down the White River. By this point all I wanted to do was jump out of the car and make a snowball to throw at my brother.

We finally drove 6400 feet up to Sunset Visitor Center and walked around. I found a nice pile of snow and made a huge snowball and threw it at my brother. It hit him in the chest and shocked him a little because I threw a snowball at him.

We walked around the visitor center and met a nice Ranger named Sarah. She was teaching about the history of Mt. Rainier. I was surprised to find out that Rainier fought for the British and never stepped foot on Mt. Rainier. My mom and dad bought me a pin of Mt. Rainier to add to all my trading pins and a book mark.

We went outside to the car and grabbed our picnic lunch. It was awesome. I ate a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit that my mom and aunt packed. We ate lunch and then cleaned up so no bears would get our leftovers. And then went on a hike up the mountain. Walking up the mountain was hard work. it took the breath out of me, but I loved the hike. When we came back down we decided to take some pictures for Team Missouri.
Going up the mountain made re realize that Just like getting to the USA Games, getting to the mountain had lots of twists and turns and it took work. But just like the USA Games, seeing the mountain up close was an amazing experience that I will remember. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to experience the USA Games and Mt. Rainier.

’18 Team Missouri: Rachel Hanson (4th of July)

Antal, RachelWow, it is already Wednesday. Happy 4th of July from Seattle. The week has flown by it seems. This morning Allison and I started out our day at Tennis. She filmed and I took photos. Simon and Lucas were playing doubles. They had a very match against New Jersey. Their first set literally came down to the very last point to decide and they won! We hopped over to Bocce quick to catch their Unified Doubles competition. Out of our 4 pairs, 3 won so that was pretty good for the morning. Loretta Claiborne was there so I snagged a quick selfie with her. She came and spoke at our Youth Activation Summit about 5 years ago so that was really neat and cool to get to talk with her again. We went back to Tennis to watch Jeremy and Kris play Unified doubles. They had a very hard fight against Louisiana and didn’t come out with the win unfortunately. We went and worked in the media center for a few minutes. Then went back to Bocce. Matt and Paul had a crazy game. They are such good players. It came down to the very last round and they pulled out the win!

I ended up running into softball at the fan zone so I hung out with them for a few. A man from Coca-Cola gave me these awesome sports pins that fit together like a puzzle and you can put them on this stand to create a picture. I walked back to the dorm and got some lunch. Bowling was eating so I sat with them. After lunch, I talked to Derrick quick, stopped by Starbucks quick and then went back to fan zone for Powerlifting awards. Starbucks is 30% off this week with our badge so I couldn’t pass that up at least once. Charlie ended up getting 2 silver and 2 bronze. He definitely showed off for the crowd. He bit the corner of each medal on the award stand like a true Olympian. Awards are one of my favorite parts of Special Olympics because it doesn’t matter if the athlete got 5th or 1st, they always smile and get really excited. Bowling awards were next at the ballpark so I hurried over there. Our Unified boys got gold and the girls got silver! I hung out with the bowling team while we waiting for the BBQ to start. An athlete from Texas came up to Kayla, Erica, and I and wanted to take a picture but he had to take 5 with each of us on each side so we had to take so many photos.

Finally it was time to go in the stadium. There was quite a line. We got a wristband and it had a drink, dessert, and food ticket on it that they tore off as we got our food so they would know we’ve already eaten. Pretty interesting way of doing things. We all got blinky red,white, and blue pins for our lanyards and some of us got patriotic sunglasses from the fan zone. They had big blow up things and other games for the athletes to play. They could dance in the middle. There were also different street performers walking around. An illusionist came up and changed 5 $1 bills to 5 $100. It was so cool but crazy. I came back with Brandon so we could start working on Public Relations things. I had laundry done for Allison and I so that we would have some clean clothes for the rest of the week lol. We had our coaches meeting. The fireworks were going off during our coaches meeting. I was finally able to catch a couple. I was going to be a little sad if the 4th passed and I didn’t get to see any because we always shoot off a lot back home. Last time I was home, I told my nephews (5 and 8) that I wouldn’t be home for the 4th of July. We always celebrate together. They asked me why and I told them I was going to Seattle. They’re like where’s that? They were really confused. I really missed celebrating with them today. Now it is off to bed for another exciting day tomorrow!