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

 

 

 

            

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’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!

 

Team Missouri Newsletter: Day 3 of Competition

July 4, 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. For a full detailed schedule for each sport on Wednesday, download the mobile app.

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Basketball
The basketball team faced a tough test today against an Alabama team that moved down into our division from the top one. Alabama led most of the way until the final 90 seconds when Haydon Windsor hit a big three-pointer to tie it. Then thanks to some shutdown defense, our guys forced a couple of key turnovers and Zach Wells made three key free throws down the stretch to take the lead. They hung on to win another nail biter, 28-25. They play for a gold medal at 3:30 p.m. at Seattle University vs. the winner of Alaska/Tennessee.

Bocce
Wednesday action included finals doubles and Unified doubles for Team Missouri:

  • Doubles finals
    • James Ross and Bobby Bates placed 6th
    • Amanda Koch and Jaime Rosso placed 5th
  • Unified Doubles finals
    • Kathy Witmeyer and Becca Tincknell won silver
    • Larry Hughes and Colin Garrison placed 4th
    • Paul Davidson and Matt Davidson won silver
    • Marsha Roselli and Lisa Berryhill won bronze

Every single game today was within a matter of a couple of points. Coach Terri Dallas said the athletes competing earlier this week gave them an advantage where the Unified Partners struggled with just how slow the playing surface was.

One extra little tidbit from bocce on Wednesday is that a former board member at Coach Dallas’s workplace heard that the team really wanted to go up in the Space Needle, but couldn’t afford it. She and her husband donated enough money so the whole bocce team could go up in the Space Needle later this week.

Bowling
Both Unified teams competed this morning; the guys won gold and the girls won silver. Going into the last game, the girls were in 4th place and still there going into the 8th frame when they gained 50 pins on the second- and third-place teams to win the silver. Erica bowled 40 percent higher than her average in game one. All of the guys were within eight pins of their average. They won their series 66 pins.

Golf
All of the golfers wrapped up their competition for the week on Wednesday.

Mike Hughes and Colin Garrison shot their best score of the week with a 53, which gave them a 167 for the week. That was good enough for a silver medal. They missed a gold medal by one stroke.

Nick and Jerry McMullen shot a 55 and ended their week with a 162 overall, which was good enough for a silver medal as well.

Cade and Doug shot a 44 and ended with a score of 132 for the week, which earned them a silver medal.

Thomas shot an 85 today and finished with a three-day score of 250, which was a two-way tie for third place. Because he was in the championship high-performance division and because there was a tie for silver medal, Thomas and the athlete he tied with will both receive fourth-place ribbons.

Coach Steve Wiederholt said, “My guys played their hearts out.”

Powerlifting
The powerlifters had the day off and slept in a bit. They went to the fan zone to hang out and have some fun. They also went to watch other Team Missouri delegates compete in basketball and tennis.

Softball
The softball team had the day off so they had the opportunity to visit some of the other teams, including tennis, basketball and bocce. They enjoyed getting to see all of their other Team Missouri delegates.

Swimming
Another lengthy day at the pool ended with more awards for the swimmers:

  • Joel Chrouser won bronze in the 100 M breaststroke
  • Libby Waddell received a participation ribbon in the 200 M individual medley
  • The 4×50 M medley relay (Jessica Grammer, Neha Naik, Curtis Herbold and Devin Bock) came from behind to win the gold medal
  • Curtis Herbold was awarded 6th place
  • Jessica Grammer was awarded 5th place

Tennis
Tough, but competitive day for our tennis players on Wednesday:

  • Simon Caldwell and Lucas Blattel beat New Jersey and play Thursday for gold
  • Kris Green and Jeremy Clayton lost to Louisiana and play Thusrday for bronze
  • Simon Caldwell had one singles match against Virginia. It was back and forth with each of them winning a set, but in the end Simon ran out of gas and lost the tiebreaker. SHe will for the bronze on Thursday.
  • Lucas Blattel also played one match today and beat Pennsylvania. He’ll play for the gold on Friday.

Track & Field
Wednesday’s results are as follows:

  • Brett Harper placed 5th in the 400 M run and shaved five seconds off his personal record in the process. He also won the bronze medal in the running long jump.
  • Shaquana Hobbs won the gold medal in the mini jav.
  • Lynna Hodgson won bronze in the 200 M run.
  • Mary McManus won gold in the 200 M run.
  • The 4×100 M relay (Dustin Johnson, Mary McManus, Mark Harris and Brett Harper) ran its prelim and finished third. They will run in the finals on Thursday.

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 THIRD recap show, which you can view here. On Wednesday night, she talked to Alyssa Cress, Piper Earhart and Lauren Gaines who are taking part in the Youth Leadership Experience this week. She then interviewed Coach Terri Dallas and Amanda Koch from bocce.

Only two more days left of competition. We will have much more to update throughout the week, so stay tuned!

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: Josh Buchheit (Opening Ceremony recap)

Bucheit, Josh_SoftballSunday, July 1 began with breakfast, similar to yesterday’s; french toast, eggs, sausage, and fruits. Once breakfast was over some teams went to their respective coaches meeting for their specific sport. Everyone else headed back to the dorms and relaxed a bit before the big event, opening ceremonies.

Once breakfast was over, some teams went to their respective coaches meeting for their specific sport. Everyone else headed back to the dorms and relaxed a bit before the big event, opening ceremonies.  Athletes, partners, and coaches changed into their opening ceremony outfit and lined up in the hallway according to their sport. Once everyone was lined up and accounted for, Team Missouri left the dorm and walked across campus  in a light drizzle chanting the team cheer for competing teams and passers-by to hear.

On our way to the staging area, Alaska Airlines Arena, hundreds of people lined both sides of the pathway cheering us on.  They all held signs of good luck and extended their hands for a high five. The closer we got, we spotted several family members of Team Missouri athletes among the crowd making their allegiance known. Seeing family and friends from home brought the energy level up another notch without a doubt.  Once we had finished the route through walls of cheering fans, we were inside Alaska Airlines Arena. We were greeted by dozens of Starbucks employees in green aprons handing out boxed lunches and waters. Each state was guided to a section of bleachers where we’d finish our lunch and watch the Special Olympic cheer team begin pumping up the crowd.

Guest appearances were made by Mike Pereira, the Seattle Seahawks dance team, and WWE stars Mark Henry and Charlotte Flair. The biggest cheers were generated by the WWE stars. With the crowd’s energy high it was time for each state to begin lining up for the opening ceremony procession. States were promptly lined up in alphabetical order and sent through the tunnel leading to the open air University of Washington Husky Stadium. The timeliness of the procession was crucial due to the event being aired live on national television. The weather could not have been better. It was sunny and low to mid 70s. Once all the states were seated, the ceremony began. Special appearances were made by Maddie Poppe (the winner of season 16 of American Idol), Loretta Claiborne, and musicians Allen Stone and Charlie Puth.

Team Missouri’s very own coach Bea Webb gave a brief presentation about her involvement with Special Olympics. Coach Bea’s speech was followed by a special video presentation featuring Special Olympic Missouri athlete Arthur Murphy. There was an emphasis on inclusion and being the change you want to see in the world throughout the event. The athletes seemed to be empowered and motivated to start the games. Soon enough, the torch run concluded inside the stadium and the flame of hope was lit, signifying the official opening of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games.