USA Wednesday, June 29

The Kayaking team rowed the 200-meter qualifier. They ranked 1 and 2, then 1 and 4. The scores were separated by only 1.5 seconds.

The Soccer players exhibited great sportsmanship earlier this week. The team from Belize had expected to play on a field rather than artificial turf. Upon reaching the venue, they realized they could not play in the cleats they had brought. Team USA donated several pairs of shoes to the team so that they would not all have to buy new pairs. Team USA won their game against Austria 2-0. After their game, they went to Healthy Athletes and Special Olympics Festival, where they saw the Navy band that had played at the Ambassador’s residence Tuesday.  They will play Spain Thursday at 10:15 am.

Wednesday was a day off for the Golfers.  Many athletes enjoyed the day with their parents, while others traveled with their coaches to visit other Team USA athletes at tennis, athletics, aquatics and basketball.  Some athletes and coaches ventured out to a local restaurant where they dined on gyros.  While the hotel meals have been excellent, the gyros were a delicious change of pace.  At the end of the day, golfers seemed relaxed heading into the final two rounds of competition play on Thursday and Friday.

Softball had Wednesday off. The team will play Canada at 11 am Thursday.

All 11 Bocce females began singles play Wednesday. The male athletes cheered for the females and did some shopping. The females will finish singles play on Thursday morning, and male singles will begin in the afternoon.

Cyclists Liz Leatham and Mallory Smith each took third place in the 5K road race. Mark O’Brien earned 6th place for the 10K road race. The team cheered on Team USA’s gymnasts and track athletes and went to the Special Olympics Festival before going out to dinner. Amanda Mickan will complete a 10K road race at 9 am Thursday, and Jason Greenhalgh, Kenny Jones and Mark Zak will complete 10K time trials at 10:30 am.

Wednesday was the final day of competition for the Gymnastics artistic females.  Emily Biondo was the only remaining female to compete in Level 1.  She said this was the best experience of her life.  In all, she earned one bronze medals, two 4th place ribbons, one 5th place ribbon and one 7th place ribbon.  The gymnasts spent the evening relaxing and getting to bed early.  They will have Thursday off.

Our Sailors competed in their divisions Wednesday, and they continue to do very well. They will continue racing Thursday and Friday.

Basketball had the day off and will play an exhibition game Thursday at 3 pm vs. Greece.

Athletics finished prelims at the track Wednesday and will have finals during the next four days. Nearly all of the athletes have improved their scores since Training Camp in March.

Tennis players started singles and doubles competition Wednesday. Singles will continue from 9-11 am Thursday and doubles will continue from noon to 2 pm. Six of our 10 doubles pairs will play for gold.

The Texas Volleyball team has won all of their games so far. The Alabama team had Wednesday off. Both teams are off on Thursday.

Two Powerlifters competed Wednesday. Chris Kavanaugh took gold in squat and silver in dead lift, bench and overall. Nic Pang earned gold in dead lift and 4th in bench and squat, which gave him the overall gold medal.

Ten of 11 Equestrian athletes rode Wednesday. There were lots of silver and bronze medals. They are hoping to overcome the “language barrier” with their horses and win a gold medal soon!

Bowlers finished doubles competition Wednesday, earning two gold medals and one 6th place ribbon. Athletes who did not compete spent time at the Special Olympics Festival and visited the track athletes. They will compete in singles Thursday and Friday.

We are still experiencing difficulties obtaining internet access. Photos will be uploaded to our photo gallery and Facebook page as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

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