Friday, February 13, 2009

So far behind!

Boise had the great pleasure of hosting the Special Olympics World Winter Games. My Dad got to be one of the bus drivers for the athletes. Of course he requested to have the Swiss athletes on his bus. I had plans to volunteer to help with the Games, but didn't get around to filling out the application in time. Fortunately I got to tag along with my Dad a couple of times and it was a lot of fun getting to spend some time with the athletes and to see them compete. I went up with my Dad on Sunday when they were just doing practice runs, and then again on Friday for their final competitions.

The Swiss, Lichtenstein, Monaco, and Korea athletes on the bus getting ready to head up to Bogus.

Some of the athletes getting ready to do their practice runs.

Me and my Dad in the lodge

One of the athletes finishing up their run.

Monday night, the Swiss Delegation had invited my Dad to have dinner with them at Cazba, a Greek restaurant downtown. He asked if he could bring his daughters along, so Heather and I got to join in the fun too.

Me, Mario, and Heather

When we first met Mario that night, he told his coach that he wanted to sit by me or by Heather. My Dad told him he could sit in the middle and have one of us on either side. He had the biggest grin on his face after hearing that.

My Dad and Mario

Aldo and Jean-Francois
Aldo is the head of the Swiss Delegation and Jean-Francois is the Swiss Consul General in San Francisco.

Me and my Dad with the Monaco team up at Bogus. It was so cold! As you can see from the picture, the only part of my face that is showing is a couple of inches that weren't covered by my beanie or hoodie.
Everyone loved the Swiss cow bell that my dad brought. It's a bell that my Uncle won from wrestling a long time ago and he gave it to my dad. All week people kept asking my dad if they could take a picture of the bell.

Mario from Team Switzerland finishing his race.

Daniella from Team Switzerland
I loved the excitement on their faces when they walked out to receive their medals.

She won the gold in her division.

Katrine from Team Switzerland and Sonja from Team Lichtenstein.

There was just the two of them in their division, so it was a 50-50 chance that one of them would get gold.

Kai from Team Lichtenstein getting the gold.

Aldo from Team Switzerland getting the bronze. He's another one of the athletes that was sweet on Heather and I.

Giving the thumbs up.

You just can't help feeling so happy for them when they show this kind of emotion.

Mario waiting to get his bronze.
He told my Dad on the bus ride up the mountain that if he won gold he was going to give it to me.

Shaking the deputy's hand after getting his medal.

My Dad outside the bus with Team Lichtenstein and a couple of army guys that were walking by and the coach told them to get in the picture.
Friday night I met my Dad over at the Idaho Center for the Closing Ceremony. He borrowed one of the other bus drivers credentials that was going to stay for the Closing, which made it easy to get in. We also had tickets for seats, but they were way up in the nose bleeds, so we went down on the floor, and surprisingly there wasn't anyone at the bottom making sure people were getting down on the floor with the athletes. We went over to where Team Switzerland was sitting and Aldo (head of delegation) told us that we could sit with them and if anyone gave us any problems, to send them his way. It was so much fun to be right there with the athletes and see their excitement for the accomplishments they made. It was like a huge party to them and they got up and danced every time a song was played.

The flame at the Idaho Center

The Swiss snowflake.

The Swiss Team
Yanick and Laurianne celebrating!
Me and Mario dancing
My Dad and I broke out a little early and went and traded some pins with some of the other delegations. We ended up with some really cool pins from all over the world. I even got a ceramic shoe key chain from Holland that was hand painted! We got out of there at a perfect time too because we missed all the traffic and I still got home at a reasonable hour. So much fun!